HMMWV's in Kuwait
A Report from the Big Sandbox
by Chris Ekstrom
Updated April 12, 2009
Note: The AMPSCT page that had the full size photos was taken down years ago and lost.
Chris is a Member of the Air Force Reserve with fifteen years of total military service between the Army and the Air Force. Currently, the Officer-in-charge of the Air terminal operation section of an aerial port unit that readies and loads troops and equipment for shipment by air.
This page is courtesy of AMPSCT which is a local Chapter of the Armor Modeling and Preservation Society (AMPS), an independent organization dedicated to serving those interested in the modeling of armor and other military vehicles located in Naugatuck, CT.
Here are some reference photos of some of the various HMMWV permutations that I’ve seen thus far during my stay in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Camp Arifjan is a staging and refitting post for major army units deploying into or out of the theater. There are literally thousands of vehicles being cleaned for shipment back to the U.S. or awaiting transport up to the troops in Iraq.
I have chosen to send these first photos to give some idea as to the variations on the HMMWV theme. These pictures also should give an idea of the wide variety of colors that the vehicles over here appear in. I have seen three shades of desert yellow. There are also woodland camouflaged vehicles, as well as some that are painted only in forest green. Pay attention to the fact that vehicles over here are repaired with whatever parts are available at the time. It is common to see Hummers with green bodies and yellow canvas tops or yellow doors. The reverse is also true; yellow vehicles often have green or camouflaged parts. Bumpers, brush guards, mirrors, and engine grills can be green, black or yellow, regardless of the body color of the Hummer that they are mounted on. Individual vehicles may often sport seats and other interior components of different colors. I have even seen a 2 ½ ton truck with a yellow front and frame, with a woodland pattern cargo bed.
There are a number of different body style variants in theater as well. I have seen Hummers with the tops off, just the cabs covered, or the cab and the bed covered. The most frequent is to have the front covered with the bed open to the air and the canvas that would normally go between the front seats and the bed not mounted. There is a new style of bumper that has a slightly different shape and mesh in some of the frame that is mounted further out from the front of the vehicle. I have also seen a new style of air filter. It stands a little taller and is clear in appearance. The engine grills in the hood are of a couple of varieties and can be the vehicle color or black.
There is a new style of hard roof on some cargo hummers. They appear to be made of fiberglass. There are aluminum doors on the sides and at the rear of this new style. The roof seems to be a kit that fits in place of the regular canvas tops. The whole thing reminds me of a cap for a pick up. Some of these hard tops have openings for weapons mounts.
There are also new doors on some of the vehicles that are made of steel instead of canvas, but they are low cut and would come up to only chest level of someone riding inside. There are several variants with regard to number, location, and style of antenna mounts. I have seen a number of HMMWVs sporting the new up-armor kits. Sorry, no pics yet. They are very formidable looking. I have only seen weapons carriers with the kits.
I have seen cargo variants mounting improvised armor in the bed. These vehicles usually also have a weapons mount either in one of the four corners of the cargo bed or on a central pedestal mount. Weapons carriers often have four-barrel smoke dischargers mounted on the four corners of the roof.
As for other vehicles, I have seen a different version of the HEMTT with a flat bed that can be hydraulically slid to the ground to pick up commercial style shipping containers. Very cool to see in action.
The coolest I have seen so far has been a dump truck with extra steel plates welded inside the dump bed to raise the sides. There was a pedestal mount for a light machine gun in the center of the bed. This truck was in use as a convoy escort. Very much ala the gun trucks used in convoys of the Vietnam War.
Humvees Part I
#8 Notice the difference in the color of the Hummers and the Deuce on the left. Also note that the inside of the tailgate on the deuce is woodland camouflage. Notice too that the green Hummer has no doors while the yellow has the rear doors. The yellow one also has wooden side rails and troop benches in the back.
#10 The Hummer in the foreground has the forward mounted bumper and the new style air filter. The Yellow hummer has a green bumper and green side mirrors.
#11 This hummer has the new armor doors I described above. It also has a metal roof over the front four seats. The roof has a hatch for a weapons mount. These mounts are very much like the ones on weapons carriers. This vehicle also has metal side rails along the cargo bed.
#18 A front left quarter view of the same HMMWV.
#13 A shot of the forward mounted bumper and newer air filter described above.
#14 A good side shot of the new hard top I described above. The access door on the side is green on this vehicle, but many are left unpainted aluminum. This vehicle does not have a weapons mount in the roof. I am not sure what the box mounted over the front center of the windscreen is for. Note how the vehicle behind it has a spare tire tied to the roof.
#15 The rear of the same vehicle. Although it is difficult to tell from this photo, the jerry can mounts are a different color from the vehicle, are pretty worn, and were probably added as an after-thought.
#17 Note the heavy-duty appearance of these antenna mounts.
#20 Examples of woodland camouflage and forest green paint schemes. The camo netting on the right hand vehicle is protecting a load from the sun. Many of these open-backed hummers have large box mounted generators or radios in the beds.
#21 Take your pick of roof style and color combinations.
#22 A good view of the interior of an open-topped hummer. Note the frame is yellow, green, and black. The black gas cap really stands out against the yellow color of the side of the vehicle.
#23 A yellow hummer with a black bumper and green brush guard. Note the rust around the headlamps.
#24 Another yellow hummer. Different style hood grills, though.
#25 The open topped hummer again. Note the green driver’s seat and mirrors. The hood latches are also green.