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Help with Early US Army Uniforms and Equipment Iraq 2003


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Hello,

Looking for some information on what US Army troops wore when first arriving in Iraq in 2003. In particular, the equipment. I've attached two photographs. Are they wearing Interceptor Body Armor? What type of Vests?

Thanks in advance,

Pat

post-88666-0-86181800-1490112840.jpg

post-88666-0-68284900-1490112849.jpg

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I was in a logistics unit and we were issued the old style flak jackets for the first part of our missions. Later, we received the early woodland camo IBA jackets without SAPI plates. I think we got the plates just before we redeployed but I don't recall for sure. We had no armor on any of our vehicles and we used the flak jackets wedged against the doors of our HMMWVs for some protection. The sandbags in the floors were there too. Hard to believe we got out of there without any casualties.

WANTED: I collect materials of any age related to the US Army Quartermaster Corps and from the long-defunct Commissary / Subsistence Corps. Anything goes and it doesn't have to be identified to a vet. If it's weird or unusual, please PM me! ASMIC #5650

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IBA with SAPI plates. When we deployed in early 2004 our vests were still green/woodland camo. Pretty sure that was the same equipment that would have been issued to soldiers going to Iraq the year before.

Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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FWIW when I deployed to Afghanistan with the 19th SF Group (COARNG) in January 2003, we went through CIF (Central issue Facility) for the COARNG. There they looked up my MOS before issuing me body armor. Since I was a 96B (intel analyst - basically a Behind the Wire job) I got an old-style PASGT flak vest. The "shooters" (18-series SF guys) got the IBA with SAPI plates.

 

But this was early on in the war and I think that's why they were kind of "rationing" the "good" body armor. By the time my WYARNG unit got deployed to Kuwait in 2004, EVERYBODY got IBA with SAPI plates regardless of MOS or duty position.

Martin

Englewood, CO

US Army 1980-2005

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Is this the MICH or ACH in use by this member of the 82nd Airborne?

Thank you!

Pat

 

Yes. The guy on the right is wearing one as well and the guy in the back likely is too. When you look at enough PASGTs and ACH's you start to really see the difference in the profile of the helmet. The chinstraps are also a good indicator as well in this time period, but not always as they had upgrade kits for Kpots.

 

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Yes, IBA, as has already been mentioned, in Woodland Camo. Neck and groin protectors were issued, but never worn. Helmets were PASGT, with the nylon webbing inside and the single chinstrap. I think some higher ups got the fancier helmet guts later on. Also, during the invasion we wore MOPP suits 24/7. Switched back to DCU's after a couple of weeks.

 

Also, like Major Z said, vehicles in the early days of the war had zero armor, and painted Woodland Camo. I think I only ever saw Generals riding around in up-armored vehicles. All we had were sandbags on the floor, and in warmer weather we even took the doors off the Humvees. And we never wore seatbelts, either.

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