Armor: December 8, 2003


Since the heavy combat in Iraq ended last April, American troops have been improvising additional protection for their unarmored vehicles. One of these efforts has become something of a standard. Capt. Darryl M. Butler, an engineer officer for the 354th Civil Affairs Brigade (attached to the 1st Armored Division) developed a armor kit for Humvees. A half ton of steel plate, cut into 25 precisely measured pieces, is attached to a Humvee in a few hours and provides protection from fragments (from bombs and shells). Called the MPAH (Modified Protection for un-Armored Humvees) kit, nearly fifty have been installed and several hundred more kits have been ordered. Unofficially it's called The Butler Mobile, The kits are being made and installed (under Captain Butler's supervision) by Iraqi contractors. This provides jobs for friendly Iraqis, and protection from the hostile ones. Civil Affairs troops are most vulnerable to attack, because they often travel without the protection of a convoy. Civil Affairs work consists of traveling around to talk and negotiate with Iraqi leaders (official and otherwise) and supervising reconstruction projects. Civil Affairs units have no armored vehicles, and only rifles, pistols and machine-guns as weapons. The most common form of transportation is the Humvee. The Butler Mobile is not only a life saver, but it also makes the job a lot less nerve wracking. Captain Butler is a reservist, an engineer who works for the Corps of Engineers.


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