Rumsfeld recently told disgruntled National Guard troops in Kuwait the reason there isn't more armor on military vehicles in Iraq is because it can't be made fast enough.
"There's no capacity is what Rumsfeld said," said Mark Frater, chief executive officer at R.E. Services, which began making lightweight armor for military vehicles earlier this year. "I'm just running one shift. I've got capacity. I could run around the clock if they gave me the orders."
Frater's company makes laminated plates that stop armor-piercing bullets, shrapnel and fragments from roadside bombs that have taken a toll on U.S. troops in Iraq. He's attached it to Humvees sent to Lodi and had it shipped directly to Iraq for installation.
The Army said Friday that it has entered into negotiations with an armor manufacturer in an effort to accelerate production of armored versions of the Humvee to get them to the troops more quickly.
Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey spoke with officials at Armor Holdings Inc., based in Jacksonville, Fla., who told him Friday they could increase production by up to 100 vehicles a month.
Frater said he's received reports through American Defense Systems, the New York-based company with military contracts that hired his firm, that the armor his company makes already has done its job. Iraqi insurgents typically use armor-piercing bullets fired from AK-47s, Frater said, but the attacked vehicles are still in use.
"We've taken 20 hits on 12 vehicles and we've had no failures," Frater said. "We haven't lost one soldier in our vehicles."
It *is* a matter of money apparently.