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Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE)
The high-mobility Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE) is a small earthmoving machine used to rapidly dig combat emplacements such as crew-served weapon positions, command posts, trenches, bunkers, trash burial sites, and individual fighting positions (foxholes). With its standard front loader and backhoe, SEE is used for excavating, loading, lifting, and grading. The vehicle is equipped with auxiliary air tools including a chain saw, pavement breaker, and hammer drill. With interchangeable additional attachments substituted for the front loader bucket and/or the rear mounted backhoe, SEE can be fitted for other tasks such as snow plowing. It is capable of rapid deployment at convoy speeds for constructing positions and multiple other tasks for the tactical force.
In addition to general utility excavation activities, the Small Emplacement Excavator has been used by the US Army and Marine Corps for unexploded ordnance (UXO) retrieval.
Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE) History
The Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE) is based on the Unimog FLU-419 (also called FLU10144), modified by Freightliner Corp. (Charlotte, NC) for US military specs (FLU = Freight Liner Unimog). With the SEE specific equipment it is known as the Model 419-101. Procurement by the USMC and US Army began in FY 1985, following success with the Unimog 406 based J.I. Case MB4/94 in an evaluation program. Freightliner got an initial order for 922 vehicles. Fielding to the US Army began in 3Q 1988. Freightliner received the last SEE contract in January 1989 for 491 vehicles. Approximately 2,500 vehicles were brought into the US military by the mid-1990s. The Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE) life cycle officially ended in FY 2005, but vehicles remained in inventory until about 2010.
The SEE -- sometimes called See-Tractor or See-Trac -- has been deployed widely with the US military. It has served in the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo, Operation Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan among others.
Where deployed, the SEE was a scarce item and heavily employed. In overseas areas, a few hours of SEE operations could often be bartered for local commodities, labor or services. However, the SEE was often not liked by user units. They were slow, hard on the operator, and had s tendency to roll over. Maintenance issues kept the readiness of the SEE at too low a level.
Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE) Description
The SEE is basically a small Unimog Model 406 truck fitted with a rear-mounted folding CASE backhoe and front-mounted 3/4-yard bucket loader (Schmidt Engineering FL4). The SEE tractor is also the most versatile snowplow in the U.S. Army inventory. It can plow off-road as easily as it plows paved and unpaved roads, staging areas, storage sites, or any other requirement.
The SEE has been fielded to provide a highly mobile excavation capability to support combat operations in the forward battlefield, especially in a light forces deployment. The SEE facilitates rapid deployment by external helicopter sling and internal airlift. It can self-deploy in convoy with combat forces at up to 45mph on hard surface roads or, with limits, off-road.
The formal nomenclature for the SEE is: Model No. FLU419 (or FLU10144) Tractor, Wheeled, 4x4 Diesel Engine Driven (DED) Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE) with attachments. The NSN is: 2420-01-160-2754. Manuals for the Small Emplacement Excavator are numbered TM 5-2420-224-xx where the xx represents the maintenance level.
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Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE) Characteristics
Small Emplacement Excavator (SEE) Photo Gallery