Sometimes the Buffalo gets it

MO points out the Buffalo anti-mine/IED vehicle from time to time. Well, sometimes even the big Buffalo can’t manage it.


An Iraqi man raises his hands while he looks at a burning U.S. military vehicle in Baghdad on Thursday. The military convoy was hit by a roadside bomb that morning, wounding some soldiers, according to an Iraqi police official.

The Iraqis look all broken up about it, don’t they?


An Iraqi youth stands in front of soldiers as they remove a bombed-out armored personnel carrier from a Baghdad road on Thursday. A roadside bomb destroyed the vehicle.

No word on whether the Buffalo was working on a bomb that went off or if it was simply hit as it drove past. The arm seems to be in place, so my guess is it was just driving by.

And I’m getting tired of folks mistaking the Buffalo for an “armored personnel carrier”. Let’s show a little professionalism, shall we?

Meanwhile, another Frontline Photos pic of the Buffalo carries this caption:

Soldiers from Charlie Company, 648th Engineer Battalion, 48th Brigade Combat Team, Georgia National Guard, use a Buffalo unmanned vehicle to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in an area south of Baghdad. [emphasis mine]

Does the Buffalo have the capability to be operated by remote control? Or do they just not know the first damn thing about the Buffalo? I don’t know how that can be, as the thing has been plastered all over the place for months.

UPDATE: More on the “armored personnel carrier” issue.


  1. Sorry Murdoc, most of them just don’t give a damn, and that’s why they screw up. I believe the thinking is that if you spend time researching anything military, you might actually find out something interesting, or awe-inspiring, and therefore might lose your moonbat membership card and secret decoder ring.

  2. I think what Chad means by ‘you’ is ‘msm wonk’ not Murdoc. I must admit I misread this at first and went ‘huh?!’

  3. Yay! Now more innocent civilians can get blown up by randomly placed bombs! If that’s not a reason to celebrate and look happy, I don’t know what is.

  4. Wow, I just realized that it was the Army Times which called the Buffalo an APC. I suppose if you really, really wanted to you could argue that the Buffalo is an APC. After all, it’s armoured and it carries personnel. Then again, you could call almost anything an APC by those standards. Maybe someone needs to come up with a new name for these things. Bomb Square Engineering Vehicle? Hmm…

  5. Well, the Buffalo is armored, and it does carry personnel… Doesn’t look like it was working on an IED…in the second picture, you can see the manipulator arm on the right side of the vehicle, and it looks like it’s still stowed for travel. Hard to tell where the vehicle was penetrated, but from the fact that it burned, it’d almost have to be somewhere in the engine compartment. But the key question is: did the vehicle do it’s job, and protect the crew? To me the damage looks like it can be repaired by a stint in depot level maintenance.

  6. Right, and a tank is a big water carrying apparatus 😉 It’s hard to tell with such a low res photo but no, it doesn’t look totally trashed. At least depot level…

  7. The Buffalo was concieved to be an APC, and was used as such by the South Africans in Namibia and Angola. It’s ‘v’ shaped hull and distance from the ground give it excellent protection from landmines. The only visible modification made to this vehicle is the mine/IED rake that has been attached. Having Tracks isn’t a requisite for being and APC is it? Anyway,I’m not sure having a rake attached knocks this APC out of the APC class! Sorry, looks like the press got this one right. Probably pure luck! Tim Reed Check it out: ‘The Buffalo is a South African armored personnel carrier designed with anti-land mine capabilities,’ said U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Brian James Duncan, platoon leader, 2nd Platoon, Company C, 612th Engineer Battalion, Ohio Army National Guard.’

  8. This buffalo was not ‘bombed out’ as you described. You will notice that the windows are not broken in the first photo. This would indicate to me that the hull was not penetrated by the blast. The vehicle appears to be burning on the outside, only steel doesnt burn. I would guess that the blast ignited the front tires. Burning rubber, as you know, sends up terrific clouds of black smoke. Spraying water on hot glass is probably what caused the windows to shatter as evident in the last photo. I say this because the buffalo can carry 10 crew and reports from that day indicate that there were no injuries in this particular explosion. If 10 of 10 crew survived this blast without injury, then the vehicle appears to have done its job. In Aug 2004 a buffalo was hit by a double-stacked anti-tank mine. Lost 3 tires, 1 axle, drivetrain, bumper, and front grille. Components were replaced by 621 Eng and buffalo was re-painted and back in service in under a week. My guess is that this truck was so badly burned that it will not be repaired. FYI, the website for the buffalo is ‘’ and it is not considered an APC, but rather an MPCV ‘Mine-protected clearance vehicle’ Cheers

  9. Withheld’: I didn’t say it was ‘bombed-out’, that was the capation from the news service that ran the photo. And while the Buffalo may not be an APC as we know APCs, jumping down the throat of those calling it an APC was out of line on my part.

  10. Being South African it is strange (and proud)feeling everytime I see a picture of any of the typically SA vehicles manned by guys in their desert cammo. The V-shaped hulls and pop-off wheels are standard on almost all SA trucks and fighting vehicles. Here’s a link to a pdf from DENEL, the company that designed the buffalo SA also specialize in extremely long range (up to 50 km)artillery.

  11. I was an operator with the IVMMD system, which is what the Buffalo, Meerkat, and Husky with the proofing trailer are in the Army’s inventory. I dont remember exactly what it stands for, something like ‘interm vehicle magnetic mine detection’. It was supposed to be a package deal, but as we went through the first full year with it in Iraq, it was found that the Huskie’s useless, The Meerkat almost as bad, and the Buffalo works. Without violating OPSEC, I cannot say a lot more, but I got some intersting stories about the perfomance of this vehicle. What I will say is this- The fact that in most reports it states no ones been injured seriously in this vehicle is an outright LIE! OIF2, Baghdad AO, Task Force Iron Claw. We had the Green buff, with the number F45 on the arm.

  12. Oh by the way, The Buffalo is not capable of being remotely operated, that reporter was dead wrong. However, the Meerkat is, and has several kits in theater to make it so.

  13. I served in IOF3 and was a crew member on the Buffalo. I’m still alive today even after being in 5 IED detonations. The buffalo or what we call ‘BIG NASTY’, saves lives.


  15. They’re not APCs. They’re made to carry Combat Engineers or EOD techs to hunt IEDs and other various crap. They’re armored, they carry personel but they’re not taxis. That’s what our Bradley is for 🙂