Military HMMWV Gun Trucks

One of the lessons of the Vietnam War was the use of Gun Trucks to protect convoys. By augmenting the firepower of convoy vehicles with Quad-50 or pedestal mounted machine guns, insurgent attacks can be countered by overwhelming fire, without slowing the convoy by adding tracked armor. Heavy trucks, such as specially modified M54 five-ton cargo trucks, were preferred but lighter, more nimble vehicles including the 3/4 ton M37 and the M151 jeep were also effective in Vietnam.

Adding armor plate to a Third U.S. Army HMMWV at a machine shop in Kuwait
Adding armor plate to a Third U.S. Army HMMWV at a machine shop in Kuwait.

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High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) Gun Trucks

USMC HMMWV with Explosive Resistant Coating (ERC) armor doors, an armor plate rear box, and safari rack roof, Camp Fallujah, Al Anbar, Iraq, 24 July 2004
USMC HMMWV with Explosive Resistant Coating (ERC) armor doors, an armor plate rear box, and safari rack roof, Camp Fallujah, Al Anbar, Iraq, 24 July 2004.

Counter-insurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have encountered many of the same threats as similar operations in Vietnam, particularly regarding attacks on convoys. This reality led to a similar response as in Vietnam: locally fabricated armor was used to field-modify HMMWVs and heavier trucks to protect convoy drivers and escort troops as well as to provide overwhelming firepower to repel attacks. From this, the HMMWV gun truck emerged.

HMMWV with armor plate roof, armor plate rear box, and rear pedestal mount machine gun
HMMWV with armor plate roof, armor plate rear box, and rear pedestal mount machine gun.

There is no official HMMWV gun truck that has been standardized. In fact, the Up-Armored HMMWV with its gunner's shield and armored turret is the preferred standard solution. But unofficially modified HMMWV Gun Trucks were produced in the field by adding armor plate, Kevlar blankets, custom gun mounts, storage enlargement, and other modifications determined to be successful by units fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). The examples on this page show some of those vehicles, crude but effective implements to repel the unconventional forces encountered.

HMMWV with roof ring mount augmented with locally fabricated gunner shields, doors, and boxed rear area
HMMWV with roof ring mount augmented with fabricated gunner shields, doors, and boxed rear area.

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