Posted: 1:21 am PT
State/OIG issued a Management Assistance Report on the State Department’s Armored Vehicle Training. Excerpt below:
Armored Vehicle Program
The Department’s armored vehicle program overseas is intended to protect mission personnel from harm caused by attacks related to terrorism, war, and civil disturbance. The Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Office of Physical Security Programs, Defensive Equipment and Armored Vehicle (DEAV) division, which manages the Department’s armored vehicle program, reported in a September 3, 2015, presentation that more than 4,700 armored vehicles were in service worldwide, with another 783 awaiting shipment, repairs, or assignment. The armored vehicle program’s annual budget is $31.6 million.
Sixty Percent of Armored Vehicle Mishaps Deemed Preventable
Statistics prepared by SHEM show that for the period January 2010 to September 2015, 773 motor vehicle mishaps involved armored vehicles at missions overseas. Of these, 469 (about 60%) were deemed preventable. The Department recognizes that driver behavior contributes to vehicle fatalities and that “solutions must center on…providing an effective initial and refresher training program.”3 Mishap reports recommended driver training in 10 of the 12 mishaps involving fatalities. Twelve of the armored vehicle mishaps resulted in 13 fatalities, and 23 mishaps resulted in the hospitalization of a total of 26 persons. None of the operators was a Chief of Mission or Principal Officer driver and, so were not required to attend the DEAV course on armored vehicle operation. SHEM reported that the 773 armored vehicle mishaps caused $4,550,483 in total property damages, of which 85 percent—or $3,883,816—was to the U.S. Government armored vehicles themselves. Armored vehicle dynamics, however, were a contributing cause in 83 percent of the mishaps involving fatalities and could be mitigated with proper training.
State/OIG recommends that the Office of Management Policy, Rightsizing, and Innovation (M/PRI), in coordination with the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), should establish a mandatory training requirement on armored vehicle safe-driving techniques for all overseas professional chauffeurs and incidental drivers who operate such vehicles.
Read the full report here (PDF).