"Ironhorse" ponies up armored trucks for Iraqi Army
June 30, 2009
BAGHDAD -Iraqi troops in northeast Baghdad have a new weapon in their arsenal, thanks to "Ironhorse" troops, here.
Soldiers from 115th "Muleskinner" Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division delivered five up-armored Ford F-350 trucks to the 11th Iraqi Army Division at Joint Security Station Rasheed, June 19.
The upgraded trucks offer significant protection and maneuverability for Iraqi Staff Maj. Gen. Mizher Shaher Lateef and his men to move about in his area of operations, said Brandon, Fla. native, Capt. Peter Bogart, the brigade's provost marshal.
"It was a project that highlights the partnership we have with the IA," said Livonia, Mich. native, Maj. Michele Reid, the BSB executive officer.
Soldiers on Mizher's personal security detachment will use the trucks to escort Mizher during his daily operations. The officer in charge of the PSD will be held responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the vehicles.
Soldiers from B Company, 115th BSB armored the Ford F-350s by increasing the amount of protective layers on the interior and exterior.
After 37 days, and about 60 work hours per truck, the trucks were complete and ready for delivery to Mizher.
"The Soldiers in the Service and Recovery Shop worked extremely hard on these trucks. They spent numerous man-hours perfecting the construction of these turrets and gunners boxes. The end result was breathtaking," said Delray Beach, Fla. native, Chief Warrant Officer Staceyann Mcnish, the Service and Recovery chief for "Muleskinner" BSB.
Other than determining the best way to complete the armor, the project went quite smoothly, said Reid.
"We did have to consider the added weight of Kevlar and metal to how it would affect the trucks, along with considering road conditions."
The beds of the trucks now contain a gunner's box, consisting of armor plating and Kevlar for maximum protection while on patrols. The seats are lined with Kevlar and have been re-upholstered to cover it.
"We are very grateful to the United States military for all their help," said 2nd Lt. Salem Ibrahim, a platoon leader for the 11th IA Infantry Division. "It has been a great opportunity to work this closely with the Coalition forces."