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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to post a series of short stories of my year in Iraq. While I wasn't out there kicking down doors and blowing things up, it was a series of days with unending boredom, and never knowing what was around the corner. Highways that had patch holes for as far as you could see from the mines planted in the road ways, to the deliberate murder of two officers by a fellow American Soldier (Not my unit, but next door).

On May 27th I was notified that my National Guard Unit was being mobilized to head to Iraq. I remember that date well, as it was my 40th Birthday. At the time I was the Battalion Motor Officer/Maintenance Technician for an M-109A5 Artillery Battalion. We mobilized and did our Brigade Train Up at Fort Hood, TX. We spent the better part of four months there getting ready. Our original mission was to guard and transport captured enemy ammunition. To that end we had some 50 trucks handed over to use.

Organically we had 18 Palletized Loading System (PLS) trucks, a collection of 900 Series Five Ton trucks and HEMMT trucks were transferred in. The day before we rail headed we were issued all new LMTV's and FMTV (2.5 ton and 5 ton cab over replacement vehicles), and left the older trucks behind. As goat screws go this one kept on pace for future screwing up. After going to Fort Polk, LA for verification exercise, we went on a short admin leave for Christmas (four days if I recall).

I got back to Texas to board a plane to find out we were not going with the rest of the Brigade, but were going to be the Security Battalion for a Division Headquarters further in country my XO informed me. "Where?" I asked. Someplace called Tikrit. Oh, the tip of the Sunni Triangle, (fracking wonderful I think to myself). We land in Kuwait and I begin my next phase of the mission...turn 90% of the vehicles around to go back stateside as we had no need for them, we were falling in on another units equipment.

I had to crawl around in a US Cargo ship and mark all of these vehicles with chalk with "TAE" short for Turn Around Equipment. Well after I did that some dip came along and had soldiers drive every truck out of the clean area, and into the contaminated area. Every TAE vehicle would under a wash the likes of which few outside of the military will ever experience.
 

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Feel free to tell all as far as i am concerned. Basic description reminds me of most of my year in SEA long ago, though there were a few moments i found dismaying and exciting. Doesn't take a lot to dismay a young Ordnance O-3 as best i can tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The above images are from Kuwait and from Camp Victory Kuwait, not to be confused with Camp Victory in the Iraqi Green Zone. The generator, I swear is the cause of my hearing loss. Outside of my tent, going 24/7 and well above the normal acceptable levels. But the VA says it isn't from that. The building images are these random towns the Kuwait's build for their people. I regret I don't have an image of camel in the back of a Nissan pickup. You see those everywhere. I did see people living in tents off the road side, and driving Mercedes. Go figure. The tents we stayed in were locally made, they are water proofed with Kerosene. You don't get anywhere near those things with a cigarette. It seems there was a fire once and it took half the tents before anyone could do anything. This story was relayed to me, and I cannot verify it as true or not.
For those of you who are wondering why do you need water proofing? When it rains in Kuwait, it rains hard, I know I saw it for a week solid.

I know the Army had not learned much since 1918, as we slept almost piled on tp of each other. One guy would get what was referred to as Kuwaiti Krud at one end of the tent, and everyone else would get in a manner of days. I end up getting pneumonia from the damn bug when it was said and done. I was not a lone, I think somewhere around 10% ended up with mild pneumonia.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The below images are from vehicles that had been in units that had turn in their equipment and were rotating back to the States. This would be Operation Iraqi Freedom II (OIF ) units and possibly some OIF I stuff. You can see stuff was made, modified, to Add on Armor kits (AOA), or specially created to fit a need. I think the image are self explanatory but feel free to ask questions.
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Discussion Starter #7
Some more early AOA and Hillbilly armor images. As an Ordinance Warrant I tried to get as much information as possible from the technical side. I know a lot of this stuff may be lost. Maybe not as cool as blowing up a tank, but this is also a part of history that led to how vehicles are being designed now for future warfare.
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Neat-thanks for posting. Do more, if able, please. Would really like to see more. Lotsa memories of that AO and others...
And thank you for serving. God bless.
 

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A lot of re-inventing the wheel, I see. We did a lot of improvised armor and armament on soft-skinned vehicles in RVN, and then discarded same. Only to do it again in the Mid-East. I hope some of the more officially designed and procured stuff remains in inventory for the next time the troops need it.
 
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