In early 2003, the U.S. bought nine 62 ton D9 armored Caterpillar bulldozers into Kuwait for the Iraq campaign. The D9s, and their Israeli made armor kit, were purchased because of the Israeli success with the dozer in urban warfare against Palestinian terrorists. America had used the D9 during the 1960s in Vietnam, but after that only used the smaller (35 ton, with armor kit) D7. The D9 was not needed for urban fighting in Iraq during 2003, but was found very useful (much more so than the smaller D7) for combat engineering tasks. The D9 quickly cleared highways of debris and built temporary roads for combat vehicles. One D9 was thought to be as useful as four D7s, and there is a lot of enthusiasm among combat engineers to keep the D9s, and get more of them. In 2004, the D9s were used for combat operations in places like Fallujah.
Photos by LTC Norm Root
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