After the success in both Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), the United States and her allies found themselves involved in a counter insurgency. In both operations the enemy, unable to stand and fight, instead switched to irregular warfare. Since coalition units were moving largely by ground transportation, insurgent forces turned to using roadside bombs and planting a wide array of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). US Army has responded with an equally wide array of purpose-built mine-protected detection and clearing vehicles.
IED Hunters in Detail from WWP is a photo manual for modelers, covering several mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles from both OIF and OEF.
The book follows the same layout as the rest of the WWP’s portfolio and features images of vehicles photographed deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan or on army exercises in Germany. With over 200 photos on 120 pages, the book is jam-packed with superb images, showing the vehicles in action as well as the details of their exterior and interior. Here are the basic facts:
- Title: IED Hunters in Detail – US Army Route Clearance Vehicles
- Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP)
- Code: G066
- Authors: J. DeRosa, R. Jankásek, B. Weber and P. Winnepenninckx
- Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
- Pages: 120
- Color: full color
- Language: English
- ISBN: 978-80-87509-82-1
- Retail Price: $39 (€31)
The book is organized in 10 chapters:
- Introduction (002-007)
- Operation Iraqi Freedom (008-025)
- ISAF Operations (026-039)
- Buffalo A1/A2 (040-055)
- Husky VMMD/HMDS (056-075)
- Red Packs SWMT (076-077)
- RG-31 Mark 5E (078-105)
- M-ATV Variants (106-117)
- M88A1 (118-119)
- MaxxPro Wrecker (120)
As usual with WWP titles, this one also starts with a short Introduction, providing some background to the MRAP program and their incorporation into route clearance patrol (RCP) organization. The next chapter covers vehicles deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom as IED hunters. Buffalo A1, Husky Mk3, RG-31 Mk3/Mk5 and M88A2 are covered in action, showing weathering and wear and tear common with well-used vehicles. Several pages are dedicated to vehicles damaged from IED and RPG attacks. Next up are ISAF Operations, with Buffalo A2, Husky Mk3, RG-31 Mk5 and M-ATV in action, all fitted with bar or mesh slat armor. Several damaged vehicles and wrecks suffering an IED strike are shown as well. The following chapters deal with a particular vehicle and the first up is Buffalo A1/A2. The first few pages of the chapter offer the view of the entire vehicle and then it’s on to the details. The chapter on Husky VMMD/HMDS continues the trend, with additional coverage of the cab interior. A 2-page Red Packs SWMT features the Spare Wheel Modular Trailer (SWMT) ‘Red Packs’ which carry spare wheels, suspension parts and tools. RG-31 Mark 5E covers the vehicle with details like Hurley IR RCC camera, VOSS system, QinetiQ RPG net and Fassi interrogation arm. SPARK II mine roller is shown as well. Next up are M-ATV Variants, featuring vehicles from ISAF operations and army exercises in Germany. The book ends with two short chapters on M88 A1 and MaxxPro Wrecker, providing just a brief outline of these vehicles.
The best part of this book for me is that it covers vehicles deployed in OIF/OEF Allied contingents or those photographed during training exercises. As a modeler, I particularly like the photos showing the weathering of the well-worn vehicles from Iraq and Afghanistan after years of service. There are also photos displaying the damaged vehicles, showing parts which usually sustain damage during an IED interrogation. The information supplied is kept short and concise; the intro gives interesting details on the origins of the MRAPs, while the brief captions provide a very informative read, explaining various details presented in the photos.
I can wholeheartedly recommend IED Hunters in Detail from WWP, especially to modelers interested in modern route clearing vehicles. The book shows real vehicles photographed in authentic military conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan… can’t get better reference material than that, right?