Soldiers in Iraq design mud guards to protect MRAPs
November 24, 2010
- Tired of constantly cleaning out fouled components, Soldiers in southern Iraq designed special mud guards for their MRAPs.
- 64th Brigade Support Battalion mechanics and metal fabricators sketched out a design and built the guards.
- The guards were approved for use by the Army's Tank and Automotive Command.
CAMP ADDER, Iraq -- On patrols lasting up to 10 hours, Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles can fall victim to damaged condensers, clogged air conditioners, and a loss of visibility through the windshields given the coarse dirt roads of southern Iraq.
Unsatisfied with the routine of putting their vehicles and equipment through the endless cycle of abuse and repair for something as simple as a clogged filter, the Soldiers of Company B, 64th Brigade Support Battalion (BSB), 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, came up with a solution by developing a custom mud guard to reduce the amount of road debris that would foul their vehicles components.
"We're always looking for cost-efficient ways to achieve our mission," said Warrant Officer Marquest O'Neil, an allied trade maintenance warrant officer with the maintenance section of Company B, 64th BSB.
The maintenance section developed the basic plan to mount mud guards on the vehicles. Using existing hardware, the mud guards would save the Iron Brigade from having to replace the condensers that were getting damaged.
The mechanical maintenance section sketched a rough picture of the design and gave it to the service and recovery section, which specializes in metalworking and fabrication. The metal fabrication team reviewed the draft and finalized a blueprint for a prototype.
"Once we had the blueprint, we figured out what materials we were going to use," said O'Neil. "Once we came up with that solution, we put it together and fitted it on the truck."
The service and recovery section fabricated the driver side and passenger side mud guard to reduce blockage in the air conditioning condenser fans and to maintain visibility through the windshield.
"This is the best product we've done out here," said Pfc. Aubrey Hanson, a wheeled vehicle mechanic. "It made us feel like we were contributing to the logistics and support mission."
After receiving approval from the Army's Tank and Automotive Command, the Soldiers fabricated 46 mud guards for the 64th BSB, to include five prototypes for the other battalions within the area of operations of 3rd AAB, 4th Inf. Div.
"Anything that will help enhance the visibility of our Soldiers outside the wire is a success and worth the work," said O'Neil.