Friday, October 21, 2011

Trucks in the Desert

Yesterday,  I mentioned about the old Viet Nam era truck we used for a while in Iraq.
One of the state of the art vehicles we had was the MTVR (Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement) shown here. Don't ask me how the military comes up with the names. This one was one of our convoy trucks, We called it the BFT (Big, I forget what the 'F' stood for Truck) Notice the door is ballistic protected and comes up to head level. They were made by Oshkosh, I guess the same company which makes little kids cloths

They were very fast trucks, all wheel drive, automatic transmission, and even had compressors to inflate tires while it was moving so a bullet would not cause a flat, air would be continuously fed to the wheel although once it stopped it would resemble this. Notice this truck has taken fragments to the drivers door as well. We also had them with heavy guns attached and turrets on top.
We also used 'civilian' model trucks this one an International which had to be hardened for convoy use, thus the Kevlar panel on the door. Inside the door was a welded steel plate which covered your torso while seated, it did not hinge with the door so it was very hard to get in and out, especially with 75 lbs of 'battle rattle' and forget about doing it fast. You notice most of our vehicles had battle damage like the windshield here. 

Another Heavy Hauler by Oshkosh, notice door again. Also see the lifting eyes and towing points through the hood ad well as on the bumper. All of our vehicles had tow points like this. In case of any vehicle being incapacitated for any reason we would quickly hook to it and drag it back to base camp to keep the Hajji's from getting their hands on it and salvaging stuff to attack us with.  On the big vehicles the brakes would lock and they would be dragged with wheels skidding even to the point of wearing the rims down to the axle.
'Duke' with trusty M16

Case in point, Me standing in front of this convoy truck which was dragged smoking and burning back to Ramadi and left on the outskirts of the compound. As you can imagine there was a lot of heat build up dragging 50,000 lbs of scrap iron down a highway as fast as you could, quite a show to say the least. Not much worth salvaging from this vehicle.


  1. Dear Duke...what can i say besides "ugh"! seriously.

    but i love that pic of my brother with his M16! thanks so much for sharing all of this.

    how many years were you over there?

    your friend,

  2. Thanks Kymber, I received orders Thanksgiving, 2003 and was in country all of 2004. I was released Jan. 2005 and retired 1 year later.