Doing Its Super Duty
Source: Ford Motor Company Press Release Posted: 03-05-06 21:35 PT
© 2006

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Louis Powell knows the meaning of "Built Ford Tough." He and his Falcon Security Company have witnessed firsthand just how tough the Ford F-Series pickup is in the heat of battle.

Powell and his crew have spent the past year and a half in Baghdad and Mosel, Iraq, piloting a fleet of Ford F-350 pickups, escorting military and civilian convoys along some of the most dangerous stretches of Iraqi roads. Powell’s warhorses have come under attack many times. For example, his F-350 has been hit nine times by roadside bombs, escaping with nothing more than a blown-out windshield and some minor body damage.

"I can say from experience that these trucks have saved my life and the lives of my friends and comrades several times over," says Powell. "One way or another, they have managed to bring us home."

Powell has many stories that speak to the F-Series’ dependability under fire, but one harrowing tale stands out from the rest.

While returning to camp in Baghdad last March, a convoy of six trucks came under heavy machine-gun fire as they went under an overpass. All but one of the six trucks sustained heavy damage with bullet holes puncturing the radiators and blowing out all the tires. One vehicle even took several hits to the engine block and was losing oil and transmission fluid. Powell’s truck was littered with bullet holes, blowing out the windshield and ripping through the body, with one stray shot hitting the wiring harness. Amazingly, the trucks kept running.

"We had to get out of the kill zone and couldn’t change tires, so we hauled butt back to the camp on flat tires and blown-out engines," says Powell. "We drove five miles, under heavy fire the whole way back. The Army couldn’t believe it. They cheered as we hit the gates."

Powell lost one truck that day, having to destroy it when it couldn’t be righted. And sadly, one of Powell’s crew was killed and 12 others wounded in the ambush.

"If it wasn’t for those trucks, we would have lost a lot more," says Powell. "They helped get my wounded back to the camp and saved their lives. My Ford truck kept running until it reached the Camp Field Hospital, and then shut off. Just like an old horse fighting to save its master, it just wouldn’t quit."

Powell holds his Ford F-350s in high esteem and sends a message to the men and women who build his warhorses: "They have all helped save lives and have made us all proud to drive their trucks. If they walk around with their heads held high and their chests puffed out, they damn-well deserve it in our books."

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