By Melissa Buckley, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Oct. 11, 2023) — One look at the shrapnel lodged in the Humvee door and museum visitors will be able to instantly understand the severity of the situation — but they won’t have to imagine what happened, because there is a video documenting the attack from inside one of the vehicles in the convoy of four Humvees.
“In this case, it was a booby trapped cadaver — nobody was hurt, everybody came home and the mission was accomplished because they had good training and good equipment,” said Col. Kirt Boston, assistant commandant of the U.S. Army Military Police School.
On Jan. 23, 2007, in Ghazaliya, a neighborhood in West Baghdad, Iraq, the 410th MP Company responded to reports for assistance from their Iraqi police counterparts, according to signage included with the exhibit. While en route, the convoy of Humvees was attacked by small-arms fire before the improvised explosive device hidden under deceased remains was detonated.
The 600-pound M1114 HMMWV door that protected the Soldiers in the lead vehicle is now on display in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps Regimental Museum. An embedded news crew in the third vehicle captured the attack.
“The door was on display in (the manufacturer’s) conference room, but they felt it could serve a more diverse audience here,” said Amanda Webb, an MP museum specialist here.
John Vance, the museum exhibit specialist, built the mount for the display.
“This was a challenging exhibit to build,” Vance said. “It’s heavy. We have to use a forklift to move it, so I added wheels to the mount. Now, we can move it in and out of the case and remove it for training opportunities.”
According to Webb, the door is so heavy because it is equipped with a layer of metal over the original, factory built armor. The upgrade — called the M1114 Objective Fragment Kit No. 5 — was created as a specific measure to protect service members from IEDs.
“This is proof positive that the industrial base of the United States came through for the American Soldier when we needed it most,” Boston said, adding the new exhibit is an important addition to the museum as a reminder of lessons learned in times of war. “When our enemy changes their techniques, tactics and procedures, we have to adjust ours, and one of the things we changed was the up-armored kit for the common vehicle of the time, the Humvees. The door itself shows that the equipment that we field is the best it can be. The embedded reporter that was there for the attack was able to document a captain, a sergeant and a private in their patrol vehicle doing exactly what we have asked them to do — they were confident in their equipment, they were confident in their training and proved unflappable in crisis.”
Boston said the regiment would not be able to display this type of equipment without the museum staff.
“We can’t thank them enough for everything they do to honor our legacy,” Boston said.
Webb said the door is a temporary exhibit.
“This will not be its final home,” she said. “We are going to be including it into a larger display that will be discussing mobility and movement operations.”
Visitors to the exhibit can watch the video of the attack by scanning the QR code on display with the door.
About Fort Leonard Wood
Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post more than 80 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains nearly 80,000 military and civilians each year.
Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.
Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.
More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/about/mission