KUWAIT -- With the enemy forces in Iraq constantly changing their tactics, some 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit Marines have been using their acclimatization time in Kuwait to make last minute preparations to their seven-ton trucks and humvees.
This is true for the leathernecks of MEU Service Support Group 24, the Combat Service Support Element for the 24th MEU, who have been making their vehicles combat-ready since arriving in Kuwait over the past few weeks.
"Right now we're modifying our vehicles, attaching "adams-bars", sandbags and outboard-facing benches to the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement trucks" said 2nd Lt. Peter Bergstrom, 24, a Seneca, Ill., native and Motor Transportation
Platoon commander for Transportation Support Detachment.
"The "adams-bar" is a piece of metal mounted onto the front of the [truck] to protect [gunners] from possible decapitation," he added. "It has jagged edges to cut wire that [the enemy can hang] from overpasses."
They are also putting sandbags in the vehicles and installing outward facing benches in the bed of the 7-ton to give Marines an outward view of the area instead of facing the inside on the truck's benches.
MSSG-24 is also installing M-240G machine guns mounts into the backs of their humvees. These mounts allow the gunner to engage hostile forces from a vehicle not normally equipped with this capability
"The mount will give the ability to fire rounds in a 360 degree angle," said Lance Cpl. John Pontiff, 21, a Martinsville, Va., native and weapons custodian with Headquarters Detachment. "We're also installing a cargo strap for [the gunner] to lean against [for support].
Finally, the Marines are installing new door hinges on their humvees that offer more protection to the Marines during convoy operations in the rough terrain of Iraq.
"These hinges are used to hold the doors of the humvees more securely," said Lance Cpl. Jerry Schultz, 24, a Beach City, Ohio, native and welder with the Maintenance Detachment. "We started making these while we were still at Lejeune, so we used those as prototypes and brought materials to make more here."
Everyone within the MSSG is doing their part to ensure mission accomplishment, working through the blazing Kuwaiti heat with unwavering focus and determination to prepare for a successful deployment in Iraq.
"I keep my eyes on the mission," said Pontiff, "And try not to think about anything else."