FSR cross-training has proven vital to the operational availability of the MRAP vehicle fleet. As a combat multiplier, FSRs have enabled the DoD to field MRAPs without trained maintenance personnel at the organizational level. This risk acceptance was based upon the urgent need and on the fact that MRAP maintenance could leverage FSR knowledge and relevant skills of organizational-level mechanics. In this respect, organizational level maintenance personnel already possessed some of the basic automotive maintenance skills needed to work on MRAPs. This represents another example of the JPO accepting risk by fielding vehicles before development of a training program for operators and maintainers. This risk acceptance was not without cost, however. As reported by the Associated Press, at least 66 MRAP-related accidents occurred between November 2007 and June 2008, with at least 40 of those rollovers caused by bad roads, weak bridges, or driver error. These accidents resulted in five soldier deaths (Associated Press, 2008). Such incidents arguably might have happened in any vehicle, but this vividly demonstrates the trade-offs made in fielding MRAPs so rapidly.
The initial JPO logistics support strategy was to employ a pure CLS approach with manufacturer FSRs and 90-day spares packages supplied at vehicle fielding. The 90-day spares packages were determined by the OEMs based on expected short-term parts needs. The initial plan also called for centralized fielding, centralized support, a ratio of one FSR for every ten vehicles, and the use of non-standard COTS manuals. However, as the program grew from 1,185 to more than 15,000 vehicles, the JPO had to adjust the strategy. Based on the need to get this significantly larger number of MRAP vehicles into the hands of warfighters as quickly as possible, the JPO had to conduct decentralized simultaneous fieldings as well as perform de-centralized support operations. In addition, the larger number of vehicles in use throughout Iraq made pure CLS infeasible. The JPO therefore changed to a hybrid/organic support concept, with manufacturer FSRs assisting organic maintenance personnel.