U.S. MARINE CORPS FORCES PACIFIC, CAMP H. M. SMITH, Hawaii (June 24, 2005) -- “Block off all their main and secondary supply lines for these are their main arteries, and ambush them along those routes for they are exposed and easy prey.”
These words from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi were cited by the Winds of Change website, showing the real danger for convoys traveling Marine supply lines in Iraq.
With its flat bottom and soft-skin plastic doors, if a humvee is directly hit by a land mine or IED, most likely the passengers inside will lose their life and the vehicle will be destroyed beyond repair, said Maj. Gert de Wet, Central Command plans officer.
“In 1968, South Africans in conjunction with Rhodesians started developing the technology to create new vehicles that would counter the land mine threat introduced in the Bush War in Southern Africa. They developed the technology that created a new modular design for their military vehicles. For example, the vehicle’s wheels could be blown off in a mine/IED blast, but the passengers and the rest of the vehicle survived,” said de Wet.
The Cougar, a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, is the next generation of combat vehicles and is currently being used in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The v-shaped hull assists deflection of a mine or improvised explosive device blast away from the vehicle’s capsule, keeping the passengers safe and the vehicle intact. The ballistic glass with gun ports allow the passengers to engage insurgents ambush attempts without leaving the cab. Photo by: official USMC photo
Lt. General Wallace C. Gregson, U.S. Marine Forces Pacific Commanding General, sought feedback from Marines working with the Cougar. The Cougar, a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, is also built to rollover and is equipped with multi-point, racing style harnesses, so if the vehicle rolled 360 degrees, the passengers inside would avoid injury. Photo by: official USMC photo
The Marine Corps decided to do business with Force Protection, located in South Carolina, the company that developed a version of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles named the Cougar. These vehicles are all designed from the ground up, specifically built to survive improvised explosive devices and ambushes. Photo by: official USMC photo
It's about freaking time!