|This picture was sent in by Randy G. and was taken by one of Randy's friends
while serving in Afghanistan. This picture and this section are dedicated to the
memory of Tim and to Tim's family. Tim is pictured here wearing the black shirt
and black baseball cap.
|Some of these photes were sent to me via email by John H. Some were found at www.cardomain.com/memberpage/289957/6
|When I first saw these pictures as emailed to me by John H. and later Randy G., I assumed these were simply local
Afghanistan Toyota Hilux trucks being used by our American Special Forces in country. But when I took a closer look
and saw that they were in fact "real" Toyota Tacomas, built in Fremont, California, it completely blew me away.
What makes this so significant is that there are major differences between the Tacoma which is exclusively sold in the
United States and Canada and nowhere else and the Hilux trucks which are sold everywhere else in the world, including
the ones used by the Taliban and the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan The Tacoma uses an entirely different suspension
and frame and some (including myself) have questioned it's strength compared to the older Toyota trucks and the current
Hilux. From these photos we can see that the Tacoma is being used under perhaps the harshest conditions imaginable
for a truck and with very heavy loads, and they are apparently being used in combat! There is no greater test for a 4x4
than how it performs in both desert and mountainous conditions in actual combat. While this is the expected norm for
any other Toyota it is very impressive to see that even the Tacoma can live up to the Toyota name. And it's nice to see
that our troops believe the Tacoma is tough enough to put their own lives on the line with it. No doubt, the Tacomas are
holding up despite some questionable design features of the frame and front end.
So, the obvious question is, why ship brand new Tacomas all the way from the United States, when Middle East, Europe
and Asia is full of Hilux trucks, which include a heavier duty frame, suspension and diesel engines. The answer is that
was simply easier for the Special Forces to buy them from local U.S. dealers, outfit them as they needed and ship them
over. The reason why the 4 door Tacoma was chosen as the vehicle, is because Toyotas are very popular in Afghanistan
and they would not stand out as much as the Humvees. In addition, the gas V-6 engines are much quieter than the diesel
engines of the Humvees and other military transport vehicles and better suited to daytime and nighttime covert
operations. Finally, the Tacoma is a durable and reliable 4x4.
From Mr. Slim, via email: A lot of the trucks came from Fort Campbell. Some of the mods Including all interior and
exterior lights and door buzzers disconnected along with the radios. Roll cage and mount for an M60 machine gun, WARN
winch, cheap brush guard, and 2 antenna mounts. The 3.4 V-6 engines had no mods. that I know of. One of the coolest
things is that the front lights were changed to infrared for night vision.
|If anyone has any further information on these amazing military Toyota Tacomas and especially, what, if
any modifications were done to them, please let me know. You can EMAIL me anytime. I understand that
much information about these vehicles and their missions are classified and I have no intention of
publishing any personal or classified information.
|A reader sent me this link, which shows a number of combat Toyota Tacomas that were apparently put into
storage and are being ready to be surplussed or scrapped. Note that most of the equipment has been removed
and note their extremely worn condition and even numerous bullet holes. Very interesting pictures. I wish I
could put them directly on my site, but so far, I've been unable to locate the owner of the pictures to ask
permission. So for now, here is the link. Hopefully the link will remain up there for some time.
******This link was removed at the request of the link's owners....sorry******