In Speech On Senate Floor, Durbin Calls For Improved Safety Kits For Army Humvees

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, today delivered a speech on the Senate floor about upgrading safety features of the Army’s Humvees and improving training to address the troubling number of military tactical vehicle accidents. In his remarks, Durbin highlighted research into anti-lock brake and electronic stability safety kits, known as ABS/ESC, as well as other upgrades, to help prevent accidents. 


While upgrades like armor kits intended to improve the safety of Humvees and protect those inside during combat, they have made Humvees less stable and more prone to rollovers without the proper training.


Last year, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported more than 3,750 non-combat accidents as a result of tactical vehicle accidents in the Army and Marine Corps between Fiscal Years 2010 and 2019. More than 120 service members have died as a result of those accidents.


“The Army has pursued a number of improvements, including developing new training for safety officers and enhancing inspections as part of their tactical vehicle driver’s training,” Durbin said. “In fact, since 2017, all new Army Humvees already have these safety [ABS/ESC] kits installed. This includes Humvees procured as part of our partnership at Rock Island Arsenal where the safety kits are actually part of the integrated chassis system delivered to the arsenal.”


Durbin continued, “We must ensure that recently produced Humvees currently in the fleet – those used across combat and training and in other operational capacities – are updated with safety kits. The Army is also reviewing additional safety upgrades – such as airbags and restraint systems – that can further help save lives as well. All of these critical investments must be made in parallel.”


“The Fiscal Year 22 Omnibus included $183 million for more safety kits on existing Humvees. I look forward to continuing to work with the Army on further efforts to make Humvees safer and protect the lives of our men and women in uniform,” Durbin concluded.


Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.


Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.


Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.