WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Two U.S. senators are calling for an investigation into alleged foot-dragging in the acquisition of armored MRAP vehicles used by U.S. Marines in Iraq.
Sens. Joe Biden, D-Del., and Kit Bond, R-Mo., said Sunday that a recent Marine Corps report alleged that some procurement officials at the Pentagon were reluctant to pursue the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected purchases because it would have diverted funding from other weapons programs.
"This is a stark warning that the military brass back home is not acting on needs of our war fighters," Biden said in a written statement. "We need an official investigation to figure out why this happened."
USA Today said the report written by Marine science adviser Franz Gayl concluded that some corps officers didn't want a crash program of MRAP acquisitions to derail the longer-running development of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle as a replacement for the Humvee.
Gayl wrote that the sentiment led to a delay in a response to a 2005 request for more than 1,100 MRAPs until the spring of 2006. USA Today noted that Gayl has since filed for official whistle-blower protection.