Indiana National Guardsmen prepared M113 Armored Personnel Carriers for transport, as part of a U.S. initiative to support Ukrainians in the defense of their nation. Hoosier Guardsmen inspected, repaired and test drove M113s to ensure they are fully operational. After the Indiana National Guard got the request, it had its technicians at Camp Atterbury inspect, repair and road test their M113s. From there, the vehicles were staged for transport and could be seen leaving atop flatbed trucks. The U.S. is rushing in long-range artillery, other weapons and ammunition as the battle shifts to the east and south of Ukraine.
At least five states are sending aging M113 armored personnel carriers to Europe to support the Pentagon’s race to send equipment to Ukraine. As of Friday, the governors of Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia announced that, at the request of the Defense Department, they’re turning M113s from their fleets over to Ukraine. The aid stems from President Joe Biden’s announcement April 13 of an $800 million package that included 200 M113s, among more than a dozen other capabilities. The governors are the commanders in chief of their respective national guards, and they’re proud to do this.
The M113 is a fully tracked armored personnel carrier (APC) that was developed and produced by the FMC Corporation. The M113 was sent to United States Army Europe to replace the mechanized infantry’s M59 APCs from 1961. The M113 was first used in combat in April 1962 after the United States provided the South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) with heavy weaponry such as the M113, under the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) program. Eventually, the M113 was the most widely used armored vehicle of the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War and was used to break through heavy thickets in the midst of the jungle to attack and overrun enemy positions.
It was largely known as an “APC” or an “ACAV” (armored cavalry assault vehicle) by the allied forces. M113 production was terminated in 2007. The Army initiated the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) program to search for a replacement. In 2014, the U.S. Army selected BAE Systems proposal of a turretless variant of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle to replace over 2,800 M113s in service.. To date, it is estimated that over 80,000 M113s of all types have been produced and used by over 50 countries worldwide, making it one of the most widely used armored fighting vehicles of all time.