“DAYTON, Ohio — Thousands of pounds of armor added to military Humvees, intended to protect U.S. troops, have made the vehicles more likely to roll over, killing and injuring soldiers in Iraq, a newspaper reported.
“I believe the up-armoring has caused more deaths than it has saved,” said Scott Badenoch, a former Delphi Corp. vehicle dynamics expert told the Dayton Daily News for Sunday editions.
We were all warned of rollovers before we got here. “Those up-armored humvees will roll over like nothing man!” We were told they would roll over with the slightest little twitch of the steering wheel, and many of us would roll over and die (most of us had never driven one before arriving in the big sand box because almost all of them are over here). Of course these were the accompanied by the same reports there were IEDs every 5 feet and every Iraqi had a weapon and wanted to kill us. (I knew it was too good to be true.)
This article and interview is so twisted and false, the stench can be smelled all the way from Dayton, Ohio to Iraq.
Mr. Badenoch is a profiteer trying to line his own pockets at the cost of my fellow soldiers. If we didn’t have up-armored humvees in theatre, there would be far more reports of injured or killed soldiers. Its no secret that convoys get hit every night in Iraq, some taking IEDs and small arms fire as many as a half dozen times a night. The Army (unfortunately, sometimes) is all about safety, and recognizes the threat of vehicle accidents and roll over. Mandatory convoy speeds are reduced, as well as other mandatory “road rules” to combat potential accidents. All drivers of up-armored humvees must complete a special “up-armored vehicle training course” where, you guessed it, they learn how to drive an up-armored humvee safely and account for the extra weight and how it effects stopping, turning, etc. Armor on vehicles saves lives EVERY DAY here. You’re going to be very hard pressed to find a soldier actively engaged (not a Fobbit, but someone who leaves the wire) that doesn’t believe in the armor, and rightly so. I wouldn’t leave the wire in a vehicle without armor. I’ve seen what an IED can do to an up-armored humvee. I can only imagine what it would do to one without armor.
Believe me, if a lot of guys had it their way the we’d run our convoys 70 mph down the road, making it much harder for insurgents to time when to blow an IED. With increased speed comes a much greater chance for accidents, which the Army realized long ago. Lowering vehicle speeds does make you more likely to get blown up (slower speed is easier to time detonation of IEDs), but decreases the chance of accidents. By lowering the speed, you also have greater situational awareness, and in turn can spot IEDs before you get up on them. What if you don’t see the IED you ask? That’s what the armor is for. It has, does, and will continue to save lives every day here in Iraq.
I’ll tell you what Scott, I’ll give you a plain M1025 without the up-armor kit from the FOB, and you can tag along with the next convoy headed up north. We’ll see who makes it back and who doesn’t. Hell, we’ll even let you lead the convoy so you don’t have any of those pesky M1114s rolling over in front of you, getting in your way.