Closing Down Bases in Iraq

What do they say… there’s always a bigger fish? Well I guess there’s always a bigger cargo hauler:

Closing of a Base

Caption:  A Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck is being loaded onto a Heavy Equipment Transport assigned to the 129th Transportation Company on Sept. 12, 2011, at Forward Operating Base Marez. The 129th are Reserve Soldiers out of New Century, Kan., assigned to assist the 230th Sustainment Brigade’s Joint Task Force Hickory, to haul equipment out of closing Forward Operating Bases as part of the responsible withdraw of U.S. Forces by the Dec. 31 deadline.

While I’m certain some TB or other manual details loading instructions for HEMTTs on HETs, I’ve never had call to even ponder such a match.  In my day we reserved the HETs for the tracks.

Victory Base Complex personnel prepare for exit

Caption: A convoy of flat bed trucks carrying mine resistance ambush protected vehicles line up to get inspected at the redistribution property assistance team yard, Camp Liberty, Iraq, Oct. 11. (Photo by U.S. Army Capt. Kurt Rauschenberg)

Sort of reminds me of those last days at Fort Irwin at the end of an NTC rotation.

Victory Base Complex personnel prepare for exit

Caption: M997 humvee maxi-ambulances are loaded on flat bed trucks to be transported out of Iraq at the redistribution property assistance team yard, Camp Liberty, Iraq, Oct. 11. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Edward Daileg)

So at least one M997 went through the entire war with it’s green CARC paint semi-intact?

Convoy

Caption: Heavy Equipment Transports belonging to the 129th Transportation Company convoy down a highway on Sept. 13, 2011 in Iraq. The 129th are Reserve Soldiers out of New Century, Kan., assigned to assist the 230th Sustainment Brigade’s Joint Task Force Hickory, to haul equipment out of closing Forward Operating Bases as part of the responsible withdraw of U.S. Forces by the Dec. 31 deadline.

That’s a welcome sight. One that many predicted would not happen in an orderly, relatively peaceful, manner.

And unlike an NTC rotation, the equipment in the draw yard is not destined for the next maneuver unit rotation.  In this case the host nation picks up.  For better or worse.

Iraqi tankers tank

Caption: Iraqi tankers tank crewmen from 1st Company, 2nd Regiment, 34th Brigade, 9th Iraqi Army take a few moments to rest after a day of M1A1 live-fire training at the Besmaya Combat Training Center, Sept. 27. The live- fire was a culminating exercise of the Maneuver Collective Training Course where the tankers practice platoon movement techniques in their various platoons to increase crew competency.

Let’s hope it is for the better.

– Craig.

7 thoughts on “Closing Down Bases in Iraq”

  1. Great photo essay, with one minor point of order, in that whoever wrote that first caption mistakenly identified a PLS as a HEMTT. PLS (Palletized Load System) is also built by Oshkosh, with the similar cab, but you can see the flat-rack setup on the rear-end. PLS is way better than HEMTT, and has largely replaced it in line units. Great picture of the M1 at the end. Our partners in 9th Iraqi Army Division stated that they would use their M1s for parades and keep their T72s for combat. This is quite possibly the most stupid tactical plan I have ever heard in my life….

    1. No doubt; they should have a collective memory of failure on tank engagements. My best memory of Iraq circa 2003 was seeing a long string of T72s sans turret (the M1 just seems to have that effect on a T72…), all of which had backed out of their fighting positions and were apparently running north when plugged with sabot.

  2. Using the HETs makes sense for 3 reasons; 1) by keeping the mileage down on the other vehicles; 2) We have quadrupled the HET fleet since you (and I) were in, and 3) those HET crews do this as their primary MOS…so it keeps them trained.

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