The army we could already have

Published December 14, 2004 11:12PM (EST)

Carlos Guerra, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, has finally answered a question that has left us scratching our heads: Is it really so hard, in one of the most technologically-advanced nations in the world, to find a manufacturer of the metal plates needed to armor a Humvee?

Well, as it turns out, it's not. In his latest column, Guerra takes a tour of "Texas Armoring Corp," a San Antonio business that modifies vehicles to be bullet and bombproof. "Their armoring materials will defeat any bullet short of a 50mm round and would protect passengers from most improvised explosive devices, which have become ubiquitous in Iraq," Guerra notes.

According to its owner, the firm has been doing brisk business with defense contractors and Middle Eastern governments, but not with the U.S. Army:

"'We have armored the Hummer H-1, the military style Humvee,' Ron Kimball said.

"'And we could make a Humvee armoring kit per day starting today and make 30 with the material we have on hand.'

"But after repeatedly submitting price quotes, the Kimballs said no one from the Defense Department has even bothered to call."

By Jeff Horwitz

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