1⁄35The Battle of Debecka Pass
Introduction and Concept:
This project came about because I purchased a kit to convert an M1083 Truck into a SOCOM version known as a “War Pig”. The conversion represents a Ground Resupply Vehicle (GRV), which can be packed with supplies, is capable of off-road travel, and equipped with weapons for self-defense. Its looks are distinctive because the roof of the cab is removed, a roll bar added, multiple weapon stations, and the abundance and variety of supplies in the bed and strapped to its body. With all of that said, aside from a few photographs which many here have likely seen, I had a difficult time finding a reference for the operational use of the truck.
I finally came across an event, the Battle of Debecka Pass (April 6 and 7, 2003), which involved US Special Operations and Peshmerga forces and their mission of controlling a key highway intersection. Published sources cite the use of the GRV with trailers and GMVs as part of this. Many general descriptions of this event can be found on line, but the best reference I found is a book called Roughneck Nine-One (Frank Antenori and Hans Halberstadt, 2011) which describes the battle, and events leading to it in some detail. In book, the GRV is referred to as a fiveton medium truck (which the M1083 is) but photos show what appears to be the M1078, a 2.5 ton light truck. I couldn’t find any more information either way so, I concluded that I could live with the discrepancy and into the build I went with the M1083.
The event which occurred at Debecka Pass is noteworthy because a small group of special operations teams were able to hold their position against a few Iraqi T-55 tanks, a ZSU, and trucks. Though “apparently” out-armed and out-numbered, the special operations teams had Javelin shoulder fired missiles, which it turns out, were remarkably good at knocking out the opposing tanks and trucks from great distances. Unfortunately, the team ran low on the Javelin missiles as the battle went on, but needed to hold their position, which they did. The Ground Resupply Vehicles (GRV) came through, delivering missiles, ammunition, and other supplies to the battleground and the mission was accomplished.
In addition to a colorful rendition of this, the book includes an introduction to the team members, their training and gear – of particular note is the recurrent mention of the Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV), a modified version of the HMMWV, used by special operations, and the abundance of supplies and gear they were loaded with. In general terms, the GMV includes: heavy duty suspension, aggressive off-road tires, higher ground clearance, increased horsepower, open bed, winch, GPS + comms, etc. Two squads of four GMVs participated in the battle. The book notes how the teams practiced for just such an event, and were well equipped to handle it when it arose.