I can understand the bond that one would form with their vehicle if they have some close calls with them. During your tour, did you ever experience any moments such as IED explosions or ambushes where you felt your vehicle would let you down?
Not really, these Cougars are the Cadillac of armored vehicles. Felt a lot safer than bumping around Iraq in "Mad Max" armored vehicles back on '05. Getting out of the truck can be a little nerve wracking but when you're in there you feel pretty secure.
Good to here that they are a reliable vehicle to have around when on patrol. I remember when the Canadian Forces first started out in Afghanistan, they patrolled with the Iltis, which was a deathtrap to be in. Thankfully the CF was able to procure the LAVs, RG-31s, Cougars, and Leapord 2s. Otherwise, they would have continued to be ripped apart.
Thanks. This was taken in Afghanistan, and without getting into OPSEC stuff, the missing devices you mentioned were developed to counter specific threats which were not present in our particular AOR.
They would have just meant extra weight and maintenance. The Army unit we supported had those things but being Air Force, and being EOD, we are allowed to make that kind of judgement call. I'd have had it installed just to look like everyone else, as EOD can be seen as a high value target, but we were the only Cougar style MRAP on that route clearance team so we weren't going to be fooling the Taliban anyway.
I always found the beginning of the book to be too short. I would have loved to read more on how the Atreides settled in Arrakis and the rising political tensions. I felt that the book progressed to quickly from Paul on Caladan, to the estate on Arakeen, to feeling in the desert.
Even other events like Paul having a son were kind of mentioned and then pushed aside only to be brought up again briefly. Still the best book I've read mind you.