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Worth every penny and harsh word
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, March 26, 2005

When I was raising hell a few short months ago about getting armor for vehicles in Iraq, I heard a lot of "they're doing the best they can" and various other excuses for not getting the job done.   I also took  a lot of crap for not "understanding" how the system works although that was news to me after 28 years in the system.

The military has now announced that all vehicles that need to be uparmored have been uparmored, which is wonderful news.  But sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.  Please look carefully at this one:

(AP Photo/U.S. Army, Sgt. 1st Class Marshall P. Ware)

Notice right above the armored window.  Most likely the effects of an RPG. This picture is of  18th MP Brigade gunner SPC Casey Cooper from a story I highlighted here.  He was in that vehicle. There was enough armor on the HUMVEE to deflect the killing effect of the round or the young warrior standing there posing beside it with a slight head wound wouldn't be standing there right now.

He is what it was all about.  And seeing him standing there is worth every word written and every bit of hell raised.

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Previous Comments to this Post 

How about the guys killed when HumVees overturn because they were not designed to haul extra armor?  HumVees were not made to be armored vehicles. Bradleys and the like were.
Written By: Walter E. Wallis
URL: http://
Walter ... if you drive safely, then you don’t turn over.  Whole different ballgame but not suprising to get a "what about" on something which shouldn’t even be a question.
Written By: McQ
Are you implying that they can uparmor a HUMVEE enough to shrug off an RPG hit?
Written By: Mark Flacy
URL: http://

You know, McQ, you’re being a little harsh with those of us who attempted to reason with you about uparmoring HUMVEEs.  I don’t think that anyone that I saw comment was opposed to providing armor protection for HUMVEEs.  They were merely pointing out that there are reasons that HUMVEEs did not arrive in-theater already armored, and that there are other reasons that it takes time to change that. 

It is pointless to expect Rummy, or anybody else at that level, to have 20/20 foresight about all of the conditions to be encountered in a new war, in a new theater, with new and different players.  (If you can find someone who can predict the future, perhaps you should put him to work on the stockmarket and become rich.)  Bureaucracies, any and all bureaucracies, are always focussed more on process than on product.  Bureaucratic processes take time, even with the best will in the world.  The fact that Rummy has been as successful as he has in getting the services to play better together, and to move as fast as they have, is something that earns him very high marks in my book.  I’m glad that the process worked out for this young man, and I wish it could have been successful for some who went before.

The old competition between armaments and armor will go on for as long as there are wars, and somebody is always going to end up on the short end of the stick.  Eventually you reach a point of diminishing returns and have to figure out how to end run around the problem.  Then you start all over again.

Written By: John F
URL: http://
As I said, Mark, "deflect".  Look at the the hit.  It was probably at an angle and it was armored up enough to deflect the hit and blast.  Go in with a regular Humvee and there’s a good probability it blows right through it.
Written By: McQ
John ... no one ever said there weren’t good reasons they arrived in theatre as they did ... never the claim, never the argument.  The claim made was all that could be done was being done to rectify the situation, and, as we subsequently showed, that wasn’t true.

And yes, bureaucracies exist and mess things up ... but it’s a leader’s  to do all they can to get around obstacles.  They don’t say they’re doing all they can do when they’re not.

That’s why I called "BS" then and very happy to see this young man standing next to his uparmored vehicle now ... alive and well.
Written By: McQ
As I said, Mark, "deflect".  Look at the the hit.  It was probably at an angle and it was armored up enough to deflect the hit and blast.  Go in with a regular Humvee and there‚Äôs a good probability it blows right through it.
McQ, I think that you’ve been taking mind-altering substances if you really think that they can uparmor a HUMVEE enough to shrug off an RPG hit.  Maybe they are using M-1 track curtain armor panels to armor the HUMVEEs, but I doubt it.

That doesn’t look like a deflected HEAT round impact to me.  (You know, those 6000fps molten streams of copper...) It looks a lot more like a 7.62 round shattering on impact.

The armor stopped something that wasn’t friendly, I’ll give you that.
Written By: Mark Flacy
URL: http://
One more time for those who can’t seem to read ... I said it DEFLECTED...d-e-f-l-e-c-t-e-d ... the RPG round.  That doesn’t mean "shrugged off" as  in survived a good hit, it means DEFLECTED.

Now the reason I know that is because the article from which that picture was taken was posed by Cooper’s squad leader to show him, the vehicle he’d been the gunner on and the fact that the RPG round that had hit it hadn’t penetrated.  The blast pattern was identifed by the squad leader, not me, the kid posed next to it because it was the deflected blast from the RPG round that knocked him unconscious momentarily. 

RPGs are not magic.  They’re freakin’ shape charges that have to hit right to do damage.  An RPG doesn’t  have to be as perfect a hit on a soft target as it does on a hard target. 

That’s  the point of my comment ... had this been a regularly configured Humvee the damage would have been much more substantial and chances are the kid’s dead.

BTW ... if you think that’s 7.62, then that is the biggest 7.62 round I have ever seen and the first that has a black blast pattern around it (note the semi-circle under it).
Written By: McQ
That could very well be my son over there.  He’s a Marine, and now he’s on his second deployment to Iraq.  He drives Humvee’s and 8-ton trucks as his job. 

His greatest dread while there is to be driving a Humvee.

Thanks for posting this photo, I don’t think we can do enough for our boys in uniform....well, MY boy in uniform.  He’s my only child too.

Written By: Marine Mom
Ok that "kid" in the photo is me. the hit was direct. not DEFLECTED. we had our EOD team confirm it, and by God, I saw it happen. So whoever said that it couldn’t possibly "shrug off" a direct RPG hit, well, you’re wrong. You can all try to analyze this photo as much as you want, but you weren’t there. I was. I swear by this armor and trust my life with it everyday. Not a single vehicle leaves the wire in Iraq without being uparmored. "Whoever" is doing a good job taking as good care of us as is possible.
Written By: Casey Cooper
URL: http://
Welcome back Casey, and thank God for the armor.

Like I said, the armor is worth every penny and harsh word and you’re leaving a comment here makes every one of ’em worth it... and speaking of seeing your words, thanks for the great job.
Written By: McQ
My thoughts on this articule is as follows; Who’s money is paying for the"war on terror"? Shouldn’t our troops have the best armor money can buy? The politicians act as though there using there own money. Kind of like fighting on a budget?
Written By: desmond carter
URL: http://

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