Open Letter to Senator Scott Brown on M-ATV defects

Posted by:

July 30, 2010

Honorable Senator Scott P. Brown

317 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C.     20510

Honorable Senator Scott P. Brown:

 I am writing to you today as a concerned and worried Father and Veteran, on the issue of the M-ATV vehicle doors. These concerns are not only mine, but of many other families in the Corps, as well as the other branches in our military.  We are reaching out to you and your colleagues’ for HELP, on these issues listed in the letters (see attachments).

The Oshkosh Company was awarded a Billion dollar plus contract to build the M-ATV for the Military branches. Regretfully there are several flawed components; the most serious of them is the sticking of the doors, making them (Troops) unable to exit the vehicle. After reading these articles, I was outraged along with other Military families. I sent off a letter to Brigadier General Brogan at System Command in Quantico. I received a response back from the General based on information from the Oshkosh Company. Their conclusion is, improper torque and no loctite on the bolts. PLEASE, do they take us for fools (Oshkosh)! There is more to this than just improper torque and no loctite. This is not the response we were looking for. I’m quite sure that our men and women of the Motor-T that work on these vehicles have tried everything in the book and still had problems with the doors. Oshkosh also indicates that it would take a major re-design to change over to another design. The Humvees HAD the same exact problem, the solution was the change over from the two strap hinge to the new design piano hinge. This worked, and it can work again. This is in use today and works on the Humvees, and my son (USMC) can attest to that, it worked fine in Afghanistan. We cannot allow Oshkosh to take a band aid approach when it comes to our Troops; no matter what the cost is to retool the assembly line and to permanently fix this issue. Corporate greed and the bottom line must not be allowed in this equation at all!! This equipment is to protect them not to entrap them. I realize that nothing moves fast in Washington, and this must not take a back burner approach or lip service from Oshkosh telling us all is working fine. I would bet my pay check that this problem will not be going away any time soon. This will happen again and at what cost will befall our Troops in the Theater of Operation. I ask you to take a stand and say, not on my watch, you have the power to make things happen, and with me all I can do is bring it to your attention and other’s in Washington. All too often our Military leader’s hands are tied.

These are our troops and family members out there on the front lines, protecting us. They are not just names on a set of dog tags, these are real people, and they deserve the very best that we can build. This is America; let us put our best foot forward!

I look forward to hearing from you, and thank for your time.

Sincerely,

Michael J. F. Bucca

Hanover, Massachusetts

SFTT Editor Note:  This is an open letter to the Honorable Senator Scott Brown from one of his constituents, Michael Bucca.  The re-publication of this letter on SFTT does not in any way constitute an endorsement of Mr. Bucca’s views regarding the safety of the M-ATV.  Nevertheless, we believe that issues or concerns that may impact on the the safety of our troops be carefully vetted to insure that our brave heroes have the best available protective gear and combat equipment available.  If others have information concerning safety and reliability issues of the M-ATV, please email the SFTT Editor.

1

M-ATV Letter to USMC General Brogan

Posted by:

June 01, 2010

Brigadier General Michael M. Brogan

Commander

Marine Corps Systems Command

2200 Lester St.

Quantico, Virginia 22134-6050

Dear General,

I realize I’m the last person you wanted to hear from, yet again. But I felt it was essential after reading about the doors jamming on the M-ATV, that’s why I have reached out to you as the Commander of System Command with my thoughts. The issue at hand is the M-ATV doors, I’m well aware you know all about the issue at hand. I ask you now to PLEASE consider the very possibility of the “piano hinge” design again on the M-ATV as well as all upcoming vehicles. You gave me the opportunity once, to give my presentation and thoughts on the Humvee doors that were jamming, as in the case of the new M-ATV. Make no mistake, I was and I am grateful to you for that opportunity you gave me at Quantico. When I introduced the advantages of the “piano hinge” design in 2007 to your staff, which are in use today on the Humvees. All I can say is that your staff must have thought I had something there to have it put into production. It is my strong belief that the continued use of the two strap hinge design on armored vehicles will never work properly. The bushing within the hinges cannot handle the heavy loads of the armor plated doors at two load points. The weight must be equally supported along the full length of the doors. I’m sure if you were to visit any motor-pool with these vehicles you would find graphite like substance on the hinge areas. You gave me an opportunity once; I ask that you employ this concept that is used in the Humvee today. The design has worked and it can work on other vehicles. I would not steer you wrong and better yet, the Troops. The Oshkosh Company should stop all further production of these vehicles, and change the hinge design ASAP. They also should not be allowed to take a band aid approach to resolve these issues. We need the right fix, but not their type of quick fix.

I look forward to hearing from you again and thank you for your time and Godspeed to you General, and maybe someday our paths will cross.

Sincerely,

Michael J. F. Bucca Sr.

Hanover, Massachusetts

Veteran and Father of a proud Marine!

0