Another Amtrac destroyed by an IED

14 Marines die in attack

It’s been noted many times, both here on MO and elsewhere, that the Marines’ AAVP7A1s have been getting quite a workout in Iraq.

The Marines killed Wednesday were assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), the military said. One Marine also was wounded in the attack.

The explosion occurred just outside Haditha, which is 140 miles northwest of Baghdad.

The Marines were riding in an amphibious assault vehicle, which is designed to carry troops from ship to shore and on land. It has a road speed of about 45 mph and can carry up to 25 Marines. It is not as heavily armored as the Bradley fighting vehicles that the Army uses.

Some of the Marines in the un”Lucky Lima” squad noted earlier were killed or wounded when their Amtrac was destroyed by a bomb.

There’s no doubt that the Amtrac is good at what it does, but patrols deep inland aren’t part of what it does. It can’t be up-armored much as it needs to be able to swim. Do they need Bradleys for this sort of mission?

UPDATE: Hadn’t noticed it, but these Marines were also with the 3-25 Marines, the same battalion that the earlier AAV hit was in. They were reservists from Ohio. This unit has been in the thick of it for months. Previous mentions on MO here and here.


  1. MO, I think that there are several platforms out there that will provide more protection and put less eggs in the basket: M113, Stryker, Bradley. However, my question would be the effect on the Marines to complete their mission once you increase the number of vehicles they need by 2-3 times. Once you do this, you increase your vehicle crew manning needs (e.g. a Bradley requires a 3 man crew), change your logistics requirements (spare parts, fuel, mechanics), and affect your tactics. I think the more appropriate tack would be to detemine how you can supplement their mobility assets. An IED that will kill almost everyone on a AAV will still kill people on the alternative vehicles. As the battle against the insurgency shifts west and away from the more urban areas, it is easier to dig in these larger IEDs in unimproved roads that are more prevalent. Investing in the Buffalo, Husky, Meerkat, and other counter-mine/IED clearing vehicles assigned to engineering assets is the way to go. This doesn’t disrupt the Marine TTPs and hands the mission to elements that are trained in route clearance.

  2. Yes, it takes more people to operate the smaller vehicles to transport the same number of troops, however, you also get a few other benefits: * Typically, thicker armour * More vehicle-mounted weapons for more total firepower. * More vehicle-mounted weapons/sensor suites for greater situational awareness. * Even if there is a weapon capable of blowing up any one of these vehicles, you can typically only hit one of them with it, and the less people in that one the better – plus the remaining vehicles will hopefully still be operational and therefore able to respond if possible. * More easily air-transported and smaller vehicles can negotiate narrower bridges and perhaps worse terrain too. Disadvantages include: * Greater manpower requirements. * Greater fuel consumption, probably. * Harder to coordinate. I think putting more than about 10 troops in one APC is too much unless you’re in the middle of an amphibious assault, in which case you do want more. Also, aren’t the AMTRACs WW2 vintage? Nicholas