Skip to comments.Canadians Escape Suicide Blast (Thanks to One of Our Relatively New Nyalas)
Posted on 09/27/2006 8:13:27 PM PDT by NorthOf45
Canadians escape suicide blast
By Les Perreaux
September 27, 2006
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (CP) - With a muffled thump and the flash of a "second sun," Canadian soldiers faced another brush with death Wednesday as a suicide bomber hit their convoy. There were no Canadian casualties but one Afghan civilian was hurt.
Such attacks have happened so frequently in Kandahar that local firefighters drove past the blast's aftermath on their way to collect a modest gift of rudimentary firefighting gear at a Canadian camp.
The spade shovels and tin buckets were neatly stacked earlier in the day for the hearts-and-minds gift presentation at Camp Nathan Smith, home of the Canadian provincial reconstruction team in Kandahar. The familiar thud of the bomb's detonation sent a plume of black smoke high into the blue sky just a kilometre away.
"In a split second there was a combination of a quiet thud, the pressure of the explosion and what seemed like a second sun," said Capt. Adam West, one of four soldiers riding in the Nyala armoured truck.
"I can't tell you which I saw or heard or felt first."
Since the spring, suicide and roadside bomb attacks have been almost weekly occurrences for Canadian soldiers who sometimes escape with little or no injury. But at least 16 of the 37 Canadian deaths in Afghanistan since 2002 were from bombs, including four who died while on foot patrol earlier this month.
This time the suicide bomber drove from an adjacent lane into the side of the Nyala RG-31, which was part of a convoy returning from a supply mission west of Kandahar.
Soldiers described the moment when they realized the attack was imminent. Their bodies seemed to prepare for the shock independent of their minds, they said. Their muscles tensed for the jolt. Their ears somehow fended off the noise from the blast.
"Your body is ready before you are," said Staff Sgt. Chris Murdy, who has twice been hit in bombings.
"It's just 'holy crap, something just blew up!' Afterward, you just get angry."
With blown tires, a rumpled front end and a shattered side window, the limping Nyala was driven back to the PRT camp by Cpl. Scott Rhoads of Stratford, Ont. Smoke billowed from several corners of the vehicle.
"Thank God everyone is OK," said Maj. Scott Campbell, an Ottawa native and the senior officer on the convoy.
"I'm a little shaky, a little happy and confident in the equipment. There's a couple of little bruises here and there, but everyone is good."
The Nyala is part of a fleet of million-dollar-plus armoured personnel carriers built to survive mine strikes.
The Canadian government rushed the vehicles into service in Afghanistan earlier this year, flying them directly from their South African factory two at a time aboard rented Russian cargo planes.
Soldiers have increasing faith in the four-wheeled vehicle that is meant to blow apart but protect its occupants in the event of a mine explosion.
Soldiers are less keen to ride in their G-Wagon jeeps - lightly armoured vehicles that have proven deadly in recent bomb attacks. A G-Wagon was right behind the Nyala hit Wednesday.
In 2004, soldiers had welcomed the G-Wagon as it replaced the much-maligned Iltis, a vehicle left over from the early 1980s with an optional canvas roof that left soldiers completely exposed. Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor declared earlier this year that the G-Wagon would no longer leave camp, but it has continued to roll on patrols and into combat zones.
"This thing is just not safe," declared one soldier who was cautioned against speaking out by a superior. "If it had been hit today, we'd all be dead."
Images of vehicles damaged in attacks are usually banned under the embedding agreement with the Canadian Forces that allows The Canadian Press and other news organizations to work in close quarters with soldiers. The army says pictures of bullet-ridden light armoured vehicles or blasted G-Wagons could give insurgents information on the effectiveness of their weapons.
This time, however, with the damaged Nyala vehicle still rolling and basically intact, army censors allowed the images to be distributed, saying they offered no helpful information to insurgents.
Canadian Military Ping
And why the h*ll don't our boys and girls have this vehicle?!!
Part of our problem is the meddling Iranians who have been giving high-tech shaped charge bombs to the Shiite militias in Iraq. I sure hope we have told Iran to knock that off and threatened them with retaliation. It seems like there have been far fewer of those shaped charge bombs going off lately.
Force Protection, Inc. (Force Protection) designs and manufactures ballistic and blast-protected military vehicles using technology derived from South African vehicle development programs carried out from 1972 through 1994. The Company produces two blast-protected vehicles with different mission capabilities: the Buffalo and a lighter vehicle, the Cougar. Force Protection is also moving a third vehicle, the Mine-protected Utility Vehicle/Rapid Deployable (MUV-R), through the proto-type and development phase. This vehicle was previously referred to as the Lion. During the year ended December 31, 2005, the Company depended on two principal customers: the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps. During 2005, approximately 40% of revenues were derived directly or indirectly from the United States Army and approximately 60% from the Marine Corps.
The Nyala is also a South African design made by a company in South Africa. IIRC, S. Africa fought a long insurgency against bombers and they did some outstanding work in designing relatively blast-proof military vehicles.
It was my understanding that this vehicle IS used by the USMC. Then again, maybe they were the ones put out by Force Protection.
Note the none-too-kindly references to the "G-Wagon:"
That would be the Mercedes "Gelandewagen," much admired for profiling down safe boulevards in such places as, say, Frankfurt, but fairly useless in combat.
Just did a Google search, and yes the USMC is using a vehicle called the RG-31 Cougar, which looks just like this vehicle.
I definitely remember reading somewhere that the US military has decided to drop the humvee as its main light troop carrier, presumably because of inadequate blast protection. I haven't heard what the replacement will be, but I'm sure it will be much more blast proof. The US military may decide to go with a number of different blast proof vehicles for different kinds of missions. If it was up to me, that's what I would do.
A US Marine Corps RG-31 Cougar rests on its front axel after an improvised explosive device detonated under the vehicle near Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, Jan. 6. The IED detonated directly under the vehicle; however, the blast was pushed outward instead of directly straight up due to the vehicle's V shaped undercarriage. Of the five service members in the vehicle, two received concussions and two others received minor burns. (Photo by: Courtesy photo by 8th Engineer Support Battalion)
Ping to post #11. The USMC has some of these vehicles.
It's a good thing that G-wagon which was right behind the Nyala wasn't hit, or the story would be much different.
One more Taliban nutter vaporised himself, no virgin(or raisin) for him. Straight to hell for him for failing, and I'm sure "allah" will give him extra torture for that.
Have muslims ever wonder why Allah spends his time in hell torturing stupid muslims? Doesn't that give them a clue as to who allah really is?
That's a Nyala alright. Good to know we have them as well. They look a little better for the narrow streets they have in these turd world rat holes, which means less risky foot patrols.
Please send me a FReepmail to get on or off this Canada ping list.
They drove the vehicle back to the compound, the capability of which saves lives since so many bombs are followed up with attacks by RPGs, another bomb, etc.
But this looks to have been a smaller suicide device. A bigger IED would have been a different story.
Nevertheless, making smaller suicide bombs and suicide vests ineffective will certainly give the Taliban something to think about it. Like give up and go back to a normal life for instance.
A tank mine or very high explosive IED can destroy any armor sadly.
I actually like the G-Wagon for a light armoured vehicle. It has saved our guys in the past when hit by explosives. It is limited though in its survivability and where/how it is used. It sure beats what we used to have for a 'jeep' ... the Iltis.
OMG, is that true? Do they teach them that?
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