Army vehicles on the #BackBelt are a semi-regular sight.

army vehicles

M113 and M109 on the #BackBelt.

 

Army vehicles on the #BackBelt

The #BackBelt is a common route for moving Army equipment. Military vehicles travel from Europe and the Middle East via ship. Trains return them to their posts. This train traveled westbound. The cars stopped on the Canal Blvd. underpass. Therefore, I don’t know what railroad pulled them.

Consist

This train consisted of combat equipment. DODX flatcars carried M109 self-propelled howitzers. They also carried support vehicles, such as the M113 troop carrier in the top photo.

I don’t follow USA vehicles like I did thirty years ago. Back then, I played board wargames a good bit, particularly Cold War games from SPI. While both of these vehicles operated in service thirty years ago, I’m surprised to see the M113 still around. I guess they still make good forward observer vehicles. I invite folks with better knowledge of these vehicles to comment!

Combat support

army vehicles

Bradley fighting vehicles westbound on the #BackBelt

In addition to the M113s, this train pulled M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles. A unit operating the M109s requires ground support. The M2, and the M3 cavalry variant fill that bill. The howitzers park and do their thing. The IFVs secure the perimeter, protecting the big guns.

Support vehicles

army vehicles

Support trucks on the #BackBelt

The train also pulled a number of HMMV-frame vehicles. These non-armored trucks replace the old, classic trucks and jeeps of the post-WWII, Cold War, Army. Armored units require extensive mobile support. Trucks, “jeeps”, and of course ambulances accompany the big guns.

Crossing the Huey

The Huey P. Long Bridge carries trains westbound over the Mississippi River. The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad owns and operates the bridge. This equipment heads in the direction of the Huey. There are a number of Army posts in Texas and the Midwest. Likely this train has one of those posts as its final destination.

The #BackBelt is more than just the Crescent!