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Pentagon Expedites $17.9 Million in Equipment to Aid Iraqis

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr. DoD News, Defense Media Activity

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WASHINGTON, February 24, 2015 — The Defense Department has expedited $17.9 million in equipment and supplies –- some which have already been delivered –- to the Iraqi government, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters today.

Warren provided a general update on equipment and supplies authorized for delivery to the Iraqis.

“This was a $17.9 million [Foreign Military Sales Program] case,” he said. “It was an expedited delivery, which took 22 days from the time of signature -- a letter of authorization -- until delivery. This is less than a quarter of the time it normally takes to execute these types of deliveries.”

Equipment and Supplies

Warren provided dates and quantities of supplies and equipment authorized, noting some have been delivered while the rest is slated for delivery.

On Feb. 15, he said, 232 Hellfire missiles were delivered, adding to the 1,572 Hellfires delivered in 2014, and 250 mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles were delivered to the Iraqi government Jan. 4.

Along with that, Warren said, thousands of Kevlar helmets and body armor were delivered Jan. 22.

In addition, he said, 200 Harris vehicle-mounted radios will be shipped next month to equip those 250 MRAPs, noting the MRAPs were excess U.S. vehicles.

Additional deliveries are expected to happen this week, Warren said. “We expect 10,000 M-16 rifles, along with 10,000 M-68 close-combat optical red-dot sights [and] 23,000 magazines to be delivered,” he added.

ISIL on the Defensive

The department’s latest announcement comes on the heels of U.S. Central Command indicating the coalition military campaign is succeeding in putting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on the defensive.

While there have been setbacks, a Centcom official said Feb. 19, the coalition military campaign has succeeded in putting ISIL on the defensive, with the terrorist group losing territory in Iraq as well as the ability to govern and adequately regenerate forces.

“There is no organization in the world that can suffer those kinds of casualties and not have a tremendous impact on their ability to achieve their long-term aims,” the official said.

The Centcom official also said Iraqi forces have retaken at least 700 square kilometers of territory, but cautioned that the military campaign against ISIL will take time to defeat the terrorists.

(Follow Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone Marshall on Twitter: @MarshallDoDNews)