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Humvee Upgrades Improve Roadside Safety

Mechanics upgraded the Humvees with new armor and a
restraint system to save gunners during possible accidents.

By U.S. Army Spc. Creighton Holub / Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division

CAMP TAJI, Iraq, June 16, 2006 – The Combat Aviation Brigade’s mechanics and ground support crews from its battalions worked together to provide something no aircraft can provide: extra armor to shield American soldiers from the dangerous roadside bombs encountered on missions outside the gates of Camp Taji.

"Today’s humvees are a lot better. Hopefully they’ll see the differences between what it was and what it is now."

Chief Warrant Officer Tony Betancourt

The professionally manufactured armor is a long way from the scrap metal soldiers added to their vehicles during the first parts of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“We’re doing the upgrades for soldier protection,” said U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer  Tony Betancourt, maintenance technician, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.

Betancourt was a light-wheeled vehicle mechanic during Desert Shield and Desert Storm when the first Humvees saw combat.

“Today’s humvees are a lot better. Hopefully they’ll see the differences between what it was and what it is now.”

In addition to the armor upgrades, the mechanics are adding a new restraint system for the gunners operating heavy weaponry from the top hatch.

“The gunner restraint keeps the gunner from going outside the hatch should the vehicle rollover,” said Staff Sgt. Donald Crapper, light-wheeled vehicle mechanic, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.

“The gunner can still move around when he wants to,” he explained. “He’s not going to go outside the vehicle and get hurt for something senseless.”

“It’s more comfortable knowing that you’re not going to go outside the vehicle, Crapper noted. “You don’t have to hang on for dear life if the vehicle rolls over.”
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Oct. 25, 2014
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