This happened on my last deployment to Northern Afghanistan. One of my vehicles called an M-ATV (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicle) led a movement down a small path and across a land bridge that spanned a 15-foot gap. Overnight, Taliban forces flooded the gap and washed out the base of the land bridge. When we drove across that morning, the bridge gave out and caused the vehicle to drop into the gap. Once the dust cleared, the commander of the truck, Staff Sgt. Ben Fletcher, came across the radio saying, “Punisher 1-2 is stuck.” Everybody inside of the vehicle was able to climb out of the gunner’s hatch.
Recovery required a HEMTT (Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck) 10-ton wrecker to lift the M-ATV up while an up-armored D-7 dozer pulled it out. Once the truck was out of the gap, the driver got in and started it right up. We were able to drive it off with only superficial damage.
1st Lt. John Rossi
Route Clearance Platoon Leader
40th Mobility Augmentation Company Punishers
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