Land Cruiser saves the day.

Tommo&Claire

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2010
959
0
36
Fareham, Hants
Garage
Inspired by SilverLady's armoured 100 i thought i'd pass on a little dit from Afghanistan.

A friend/acquaintance of mine has just come back from her most recent Afghan Optour. Her task out there was to escort battle field journalists from the Airport to the frontline to take their prize winning pics and then get them back again minus extra holes. A thankless job i did for a while in Iraq! To do this her and her team had two ex-UN 80's and a Nissan Patrol.

Literally in their penultimate week before flying home they were just getting ready to take their principles back to the airport when the insurgents sprung an ambush on the company they were visiting. The forward vehicles (mainly Jackals) got taken out with RCIEDs, (fortunately the damage was cosmetic and the crew got out) and soon the hills were alive with the sound of the Taliban.

In accordance with SOPs the infantry stepped up to deal with the insurgents and the team bundled their journalists into the trucks and prepared to make tracks. Incidently, one of the reasons why the LandCruiser are considered superior to LandRovers in this tasking is the fact that they are much faster and get you out of the s**t much quicker.

The Taliban were trying to outflank the infantry and attack from all sides. The infantry were in all round defence but the team had to drive out of this defensive perimeter and bug out quickly. About 1000metres outside the perimeter the Taliban, who were just getting into position were met with 3 4x4's painted white heading toward them at high speed.

The teams saw the threat and knew if they slowed down then they would be overrun so they had to punch through at all costs.

The vehciles had to slow briefly to negiotiate a few huts and that when the half dozen or so insurgents tried to attack. They tried some ineffective fire fom AK47's which didn't hit anything and threw a couple of Frag grenades into the road ahead of the vehicles, one of the grenades went long and into the rut at the fire side of the road, the other sat right in the middle. The first vehcile went over it (the Patrol) but just as the second vehicle went over it (B's 80) it exploded.

She recounts that she can't remeber the explosion but she suddenly became aware that they had stopped and were two wheels in the ditch at the side of the road, the cabin was smoky and smelled like burning rubber and her ears were ringing. The Patrol in front had stopped and the 80 behind was right up against their back bumper and debussing to take casualties out of their vehicle.

She looked round at the press in the back seat (2 sound engineer guys) and at her sergeant who was driving and all seemed fine, a little punch drunk but okay. She reported over the net that they were unhurt and they were preparing to get into the other truck when the driver noticed the engine was still running.....so he put it in Drive and the 80 pulled smoothly out of the ditch like nothing had happenned!

The 80 got them all the way back to the FOB where they stopped to get checked out and the REME guy who crawled underneath said that there were a few scorch markes but other than it seemed fine.

The same vehcile is still in service three years later ferrying press around the battlefield.
 
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