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BATTLEBOXES: REVOLUTION IN MOBILE, PROTECTED WARFARE. BATTLEBOX TACTICAL CONCEPT 100 Men = 30 x ISO Container “ BattleBoxes ” (BBs). 20 troop/supply boxes. 10 specialty boxes. Notional Mechanized Infantry 3D Maneuver Company = 15 tracked M113 Gavin AFVs (1 added to MTOE)

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100 Men = 30 x ISO Container “BattleBoxes” (BBs)

20 troop/supply


10 specialty


Notional Mechanized Infantry 3D Maneuver Company

= 15 tracked M113 Gavin AFVs (1 added to MTOE)

2 with bulldozer blades, 1 with M806 crane

XM1108 Gavin tracked Resupply AFV

(replaces 2.5 ton FMTV truck) + 400 gallon water buffalo

1.25 ton HMMWV truck + small ANT trailer

2 x Bobcat mini-bulldozers + 30 ANT-ISO trailers

1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne) 2005



The Roman Legion no matter wherever they were, lived in fortified stockades made of things they brought along with them. The American settlers conquered the west with wagons they lived from and carried enough supplies to sustain them through rough times. In WW2, we used Quonset huts for hard-shell portable housing and since then have forgotten.

Why should we invade a country and live in their buildings which is a tactical liability for us?

With BattleBoxes we do not need to be ugly occupiers and lose the war by creating an insurgency. We are not visible and if they do see us, we look and live temporary. No imperialistic appearances to grab their land/resources and incite rebellion.

Americans only stay long enough to get the job done and while

we are guests we act like guests.

Joe Katzman:

You know, that’s a damn fine point.



Updated: 12:13 PM EST

Attack at Military Base Kills at Least 20 in Iraq

More Than 60 Wounded at Mosul Facility; Islamic Group Claims



BAGHDAD, Iraq (Dec. 21) -- Rockets struck a mess tent at a military base in Mosul where hundreds of U.S.

Soldiers had just sat down to lunch Tuesday, and military officials said at least 20 people were killed and

more than 60 were wounded. A radical Muslim group, the Ansar al-Sunnah Army, claimed responsibility.

Dean Hoffmeyer, Richmond Times Dispatch / AP

Smoke from Tuesday's rocket attack hangs over a dining tent at Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul,

Iraq. The dead included U.S. military personnel, U.S. contractors, foreign national contractors and Iraqi

army, said Brig. Gen. Carter Ham, commander of Task Force Olympia in Mosul. The attack came the same

day that British Prime Minister Tony Blair made a surprise visit to Baghdad and described the ongoing

violence in Iraq as a ''battle between democracy and terror.'’

Jeremy Redmon, a reporter for the Richmond, Va., Times-Dispatch embedded with the troops in Mosul,

reported that 24 were killed in the attack at Forward Operating Base Marez, including two from the

Richmond-based 276th Engineer Battalion, which had just sat down to eat. He reported 64 were wounded,

and civilians may have been among them, he said.

One Pentagon official put the death toll at 22; another military official said it was around 20.

Officials could not break down the toll of dead or wounded among the groups. Reports also differed as

to whether mortars were used in the attack on the camp, which is based outside the predominantly

Sunni Muslim city about 220 miles north of Baghdad.


The base, also known as the al-Ghizlani military camp, is used by both U.S. troops and the interim Iraqi

government's security forces. The force of the explosions knocked Soldiers off their feet and out of their seats as a fireball enveloped the top of the tent and shrapnel sprayed into the area, Redmon said.

Amid the screaming and thick smoke in the tent, Soldiers turned their tables upside down, placed the

wounded on them and gently carried them into the parking lot, Redmon said. Scores of troops crammed into concrete bomb shelters, while others wandered around in a daze and collapsed, he said.

''I can't hear! I can't hear!'' one female soldier cried as a friend hugged her. The shelling blew a huge hole in the roof of the tent, and puddles of blood, lunch trays and overturned tables and chairs covered the floor, Redmond reported. Near the front entrance, troops tended a Soldier with a serious head wound, but within minutes, they zipped him into a black body bag, he said. Three more bodies were in the parking lot. ''It is indeed a very, very sad day,'' Ham said. It made no difference whether the casualties were Soldiers or civilians, Americans or Iraqis, Ham said. ''They were all brothers in arms taking care of one another,'' he said. Redmon and photographer Dean Hoffmeyer are embedded with the 276th Engineer Battalion, a Richmond, Va., unit that can trace its lineage to the First Virginia Regiment of Volunteers formed in 1652. George Washington and Patrick Henry were two of its early commanders. Henry created the unit's motto, ''Liberty or Death.''

The Ansar al-Sunnah Army claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on the Internet. It said

the attack was a ''martyrdom operation'' targeting a mess hall in the al-Ghizlani camp.

Ansar al-Sunna is believed to be a fundamentalist group that wants to turn Iraq into an Islamic state

like Afghanistan's former Taliban regime. The Sunni Muslim group claimed responsibility for beheading

12 Nepalese hostages and other recent attacks in Mosul. Mosul was the scene of the deadliest single

incident for U.S. troops in Iraq. On Nov. 15, 2003, two Black Hawk helicopters collided over the city,

killing 17 Soldiers and injuring five. The crash occurred as the two choppers maneuvered to avoid

ground fire from insurgents. Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, was relatively peaceful in the immediate

aftermath of the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime last year. But insurgent attacks in the largely Sunni

Arab area have increased dramatically in the past year and particularly since the U.S.-led military

operation in November to retake the restive city of Fallujah from militants.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of students demonstrated in the center of the city, demanding that U.S.

troops cease breaking into homes and mosques there.


Iraq Casualty Report: 159 lives could have been saved if Soldiers were in dug-in, fortified ISO container "Battle Boxes" instead of flimsy tents, above ground buildings and occupying former Saddam palaces, drowning in swimming pools and generally easily targeted by enemies. Details:

S-3st + B-5st + G-19st + RM-21+ ACC-14

(code RED and st for Static Situation) =

36 + 38 + 14 + 58 + 13 = 159

Joe Katzman:

UEL gets a –404... and works against you by its name. Find a more neutral-sounding URL and just lay out the situations very clinically on that page. Let the facts speak for themselves.



Joe Katzman:

Turn them over to the Guard for storage and use in civilian disaster relief in the immediate aftermath of earthquakes, floods, etc.



Joe Katzman:

Good slide

















Joe Katzman:

Good slide












Joe Katzman:

Good slide... Next is even better



An Army LTC writes: “I really like this whole presentation. I was just in Tuzla

where the forces have used ISO containers that had simple walls and roofs

placed over them so that in a semi-permanent configuration there is protection

from the elements unlike what we have at Bondsteel right now. A lot less wood

and all of it recoverable if the design is done right. Frankly, you could easily

design steel overheads and end caps for such a semi-permanent housing

solution if the desire was not to dig them in. Keep pushing this concept, the

more I think of how much we waste in construction and then write off when we

leave the more I like the self-contained army.”


Why Not?

Rick Atkinson's In the Company of Soldiers. Even a light infantry Air Assault Division needs 1,500 ISOs as-is now. Page 34 says:

"how to get 5, 000 vehicles, 1, 500 shipping containers, 17,000 Soldiers and a couple hundred helicopters to Kuwait by mid-March in time for any attack on Iraq. Deployment occurred in three immensely complex phases: from Fort Campbell to Jacksonville, Jacksonville to Kuwait City, Kuwait City to a battle assembly area. Army logisticians called the phases fort to port, then port to port, then port to foxhole".

Skipping ahead some pages you will see that after the nation-state war was over the 101st with no place to live MOVED INTO IRAQI BUILDINGS, which as we now know has been a PR disaster.

Joe Katzman:

Drive point home explicitly... “And all we had to do is re-use the containers instead!“


Guess who used ISO container BattleBoxes in war already?

As bad as the Iraqis are at times technotactically, one thing they did NOT do was occupy Saddam palaces and try to fight from them. Today, Americans are still occupying dictator palaces in Iraq. In Thunder Run, Chapter 18 The Bridge starting on pages 277, Zucchino describes how Iraqis guarding the approaches to the bridge over the Tigris river where to the east the marines had yet to show up had thousands of enemy Soldiers crossing over to fight them. Denied permission to blow the bridge, they sought to physically block it with TAFVs and got engaged by well dug-in Iraqi troops in bunkers. Organic 120mm Abrams tank, 25mm Bradley and Gavin .50 caliber direct fires, and 120mm mortar indirect fires did not suppress the enemy fires and the task force led by Captain Wolford had to withdraw with several damaged tanks and wounded Soldiers. A-10s and F/A-18s were called in and did little damage. Only after the Iraqis had given up were these bunkers able to be cleared.

Page 320: "At the intersection near the Jumhuriya Bridge, Wolford

discovered an elaborate bunker at the southwest corner. It was made

from a metal cargo container that had been buried underground. It was

equipped with a thick wooden door, and inside were a desk, a nonworking

military field phone, and piles of supplies--an entire command post".

Joe Katzman:

You know, this is a good example but the EADS products (Transhospitals & troop-carriers) are far better. The Bundeswehr is still looked up to in some ways. Also, it lets the wheeled types see containerization as something that can work with their stuff. You don’t show that elsewhere, and fine, but let them see it once so they stay out of your way,


Former British Army Expert William Owen:

“The above link will give you more food for thought, as well. The idea of a robust temporary camp is completely valid. Eg- Firebases in Vietnam of Security Forts in Northern Ireland. It works, and sometime works very well in the right context. Primarily you want some place a unit/sub-unit can operate from and defend. The quicker and more flexibly you can move the base, the better, but the reasons for doing so, are not really defensive. They are more logistic. Denying your opponents the iconography of

occupation is also good.

BUT: Do not get lost on the detail and especially the mobility aspects. The whole idea of the container is what it will do, rather than what it was designed to. Essentially it's disposable, but what you might put inside it, is not. Low-cost flexibility is what makes the idea in my book. Do not fixate on ‘we must do it this way!’ The use of ISO containers has much merit, but it is just a tool. I think your presentation does an excellent job of showing the great potential of the intelligent and unconventional application of such tools, and should be pursued. I'll be writing an article on ISO container and UK Expeditionary Warfare operations for a magazine shortly. I'll pass you the draft copy.”

Joe Katzman:

Link more explicitly to HESCO’s stuff/concepts, maybe even with a slide before or after


LIVING SPACES 100 Men = 20 BattleBoxes, 5 men per box, food, water & ammo lockers on floor, supplies for 30+ days of combat







L = Latrines

S/W = Showers/Washers

for Clothes

CP = Command Post

C = Conference

R = Repair Shop

F = Fuel


























LTC Larry Altersitz: “30 days/man is 3x30 MREs = 90; divided by 12 = 7.5 cases/man = 67.5 cases per 9 man squad (82.5 cases/sqd for 11). Call it 90 for mid-rats. That's not a lot of room in a battlebox. Throw in the troops' duffle/ruck, squad gear, snivel gear, 20 5-gal water cans, and you have a lot of room left for ammo and sensors. 7-ft long fold-down bunks from the walls in upper and lower pairs (4 bunks per wall), a set that folds down from the walls (towards the front) across the battlebox for 2 more troops, a cot in the middle and you have sleeping quarters for all. Stuff can be in ceiling racks for additional storage.”


MSG LaSalle writes: “Not to mention that the modern Quonset-style building kits in military use nest nicely and will fit inside a BattleBox for transport. A Steelmaster or

K-Span kit offers inexpensive non-hardened cover while troops can immediately live in and fight from a BattleBox. I hate buzzwords, but "synergy" comes to mind here. Since a base is a mix of hard and soft structures, containers are a dandy way to get the systems on site. For additional coverage, the base channels to which most frameless metal buildings mount could be supplied in thicker gauge and fitted with twist

locks at the ends for attachment to ISO box corner fittings. Alternately the top edges of some/all B-Boxes could be made as base channels/mounts. (An integrated full-edge mount strip would allow easy attachment of accessories, shields, etc.)

This would let you (for example) put a couple of 40-foot B-Boxes 20 to 40 feet apart and bridge the gap with a metal "roof" made from currently available commercial parts.

A 20x20 foot Steelmaster "trussless straightwall" (more space then a curved

Quonset style) shell kit (I'm using that example since I own one) fits, nested, in the back of a pickup truck. A 40x40 with no walls (the B-Boxes provide these) would be similar in size, taking little precious B-Box space.

Prototyping an example would take little more than parking two boxes the

proper distance apart, tacking a standard base channel set along the edges,

and zipping the shell together.”

Joe Katzman:

Neat idea. Would be worth a next slide or pre-slide graphic.


BattleBox scale model

Joe Katzman:

THIS is a checkpoint! You’ll grok later...

1: 18 scale


BattleBox Interior/Configuration

Twin doors for air flow

Insulated walls to hold

in heat in winter, cool

air in summer

Ballistic doors have provision to fit A/C unit or fan, must be

accessible if BB is below ground; lockable from outside for

weapons security in CONUS but can always open from inside for

safety escape

Battle Against the Earth


Removable Kevlar top cover with hard smooth outer and slight peak forces rain water and snow from roof and acts as top insulation layer; G.I. camou

net system can cover entire BB to

hide from detection

from above/far away


Ideal would be a top cover with embedded solar panels to power at least overhead

lights and fan if not the A/C unit, recharge small batteries for troops’ night vision devices,

radios etc. so there is no noise and fuel demand from generators

Smoke detector and emergency fire extinguisher pull-handle dumps foam to smother any

fire throughout box

Joe Katzman:

Konarka is making these.

Battle Against the Earth


Red/ Whiteoverhead light options

In addition to solar and battery power,

recharging by pedal power...





David Butcher’s Leg crank

peda-generator keeps

batteries charged

Wall has row of 12 volt

deep-cycle batteries to

power internal overhead

lights and fans using RV

technology with vents to


Joe Katzman:

Like these headings

Battle Against the Earth


Peda-Generators already exist commercial off-the-shelf!

(COTS) An integrated, folding highly efficient unit remains to

be invented!

Foot/Hand Generator

Windstream Power Systems: Human Power Generator

PO Box 1604

Burlington VT 05402-1604 USA

Tel 802 658 0075

Fax 802 658 1098


Bicycle stand to generate E

12V/110V Battery Pack


6 fold up/down bunks can be attached to either wall though should be wall against earth barrier to dodge blast over-pressure

Two storage lockers run

along bottom of BB to

lock weapons, NVDs,

ammo and personal items

Battle Against the Earth



Fold up/down table with

partitions for computer

cubicle effect creates

either a desk or place to

sit/eat. Flat screen TV

and DVD player on this

wall could be viewed by

troops from their bunks

Standard issue metal

folding chairs provide


Battle Against the Earth


Troops can rapidly leave/enter BB

Stepped Ramp/Slide: troops use steps to reach top

of BB; can use other smooth side to slide down on

their butts to get to ground faster; it works

Battle Against the Man


SOA earth-filled blast walls surround Battle Box to provide

Bomb, RPG, bullet and rocket protection in above-

ground configuration (some walls omitted for clarity)

Rhino Snot seals dirt from water/moisture; 12 walls can

easily fit inside for transport

Battle Against the Man


SOA earth-filled walls after recent

tests where 5,000 pound ANFO

bomb did little damage

Rhino Snot seals dirt

from water/moisture

Joe Katzman:

Added heading

Battle Against the Man


Rhino Snot seals dirt from water/moisture

Fold-up earth-filled guard tower on top of Battle Box

provides 360 degree security. Earth fill between SOA

blast walls and BB further protects against Bombs, RPG,

bullet and rockets, all walls and guard tower fit

inside BB for shipment to combat area!

Battle Against the Man


Arm, Universal mounts on guard tower enable light, medium

and heavy machine guns to be mounted with GUNSHIELDS

Joe Katzman:

Don’t quite get this (get gunshields, the circled arm throws me), but presume someone with the right experience will

Here is an arm, universal on a M113 Gavin ACAV

Battle Against the Man


Troop Living & Fighting =

Command Post Battle Boxes

Joe Katzman:

Point out how many MORE mobile command posts you can add, vs, the current idea of converting an M2 or Stryker into one. Which works, but the cost... need to supplement that with this so the mobility + command capability diffuses more broadly.

You'll note that if you don't install fold up/down bunks the BB can use that

free wall to post a huge-ass map of the area either paper or flat screen

TV/computer and you have a command post that stays mobile if you keep

ANT-ISO wheels under it.

If Commanding Officer wants an office space to chew out misbehaving or

praise stellar performers, wall partitions could give him one half of the Battle

Box for privacy etc. He can attach a bunk and sleep there if he's working late

so we can get ourselves squared away N-O-W. The point of this all is that we

are the exact same in training as we are in war, no more shifting gears and

playing catch up to live in the field and fight. We are always ready 24/7/365

with Battle Boxes.

This realization that troop living = CP means we only need one other

specialty BB to get this concept moving----a Battle Box

latrine/showers/washing machine unit. kitchen and medical ISO containers

already exist.




Ground Mobility= 30 BattleBoxes moved by 15 vehicles; one movement

Joe Katzman:

Assuming that once you break it up from 1 movement, you want some APCs available on each end just in case, more like 3-4 movements, no?

20 feet long, 8 feet x 8 feet ISO containers





Will need new twin ISO container mobilizer dollies to move two-at-a-time or ANT one-at-a-time in two movements






Amaze-N-Tow Mobility = Units can self-move their own





A scaled-up Amaze-N-Tow (ANT) could emplace and move

BBs such that owning units can do this themselves! (800) 688-7627


Amaze-N-Tow ISO: Here is an animation of the scaled-up Amaze-N-Tow ISO container (ANT ISO) to enable emplacement and movement of BBs by owning units

Joe Katzman:

What towing strength is needed to make this work? Important in that it sets limits re: what can pair with the concept in a pinch.

Amaze-N-Tow ISO can do

double-BB tows to enable

units to self-move all the

BBs they need/own without

outside help


Ground Mobility by

tracked, armored

fighting vehicles

While trucks can transport ISO container “Battle Boxes” even transportation units need to re-equip with armored, tracked AFVs to protect themselves and their cargo on the lethal, non-linear battlefields of today.

This is why we advocate that combat units already with

tracked AFVs have the ability to TOW their own “Battle

Boxes”. Transportation units will need M113 Gavin-based XM1108 carriers with Palletized Loading System (PLS) means in the back to pick up and drop of ISO container BBs and deliver them along unpredictable, off-paved road routes, under armor and with Soldiers armed with machine guns ready to return fire.









Network of Outposts

BattleBoxes (BBs) offer instant, ready-made defensive strongpoints for a

network of patrol/security bases to be established instantly as ground is

taken from the enemy. Roads/trails used as Main Supply Routes (MSRs)

are critical terrain lifelines that need to be under our control using a

string of BB outposts. To try to achieve the same effect with $3M each

armored vehicles is not economically feasible and even the best tracked

AFVs can only carry a small amount of supplies. BattleBoxes first act

as force multiplier resupply “gliders” increasing lethality/sustainability

by a factor of 10x, then when they are formed into defensive positions

enable the TAFVs to venture out with a base to return to for rest/resupply.

BattleBoxes are like a Soldier’s rucksack but for vehicles. Troops not

bogged down digging individual fighting positions via instant BB

positions are instantly available for patrols/raids. Climate protected and

rested troops with confidence that even though they are newly arrived

on the ground they have superior positional advantages fight better.


Check Points Vulnerable

365 Soldiers/marines so far have been killed in Iraq by car, road and human bombs or 34% of all our dead. 7 marines at a check point were killed by a car bomb in the worst incident. In a world dominated by high explosives (HE) troops on foot at a check point with some barriers and maybe a sandbagged hole in ground are not enough.

The Seattle Times: Local News: Stryker Soldier, 19, killed in Iraq

Date: 12/31/2004 8:02:37 AM Eastern Standard Time

Fort Lewis

The U.S. Department of Defense last night identified a Fort Lewis Soldier

killed by an apparent car bomb in Mosul, Iraq, Wednesday. U.S. Army Pfc.

Oscar Sanchez, 19, from Modesto, Calif., died when a "vehicle-borne

improved explosive device" struck his observation post, according to a

government news release. Sanchez was a member of the Stryker Brigade

Combat team and was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment,

1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.



Joe Katzman:

Powerful slide. Do the Croc Dundee thing and have a strong BBox “THIS is a checkpoint!” visual as your next.


Iraqi combat turnpike

PROBLEM: Baghdad airport road not secure

a. 2 KIA, 2 WIA a day

b. every news cycle psyops victory for enemy

c. $50-150k each truck destroyed

d. recruits for AVF drying up = hollow Army

e. MP roving patrols in HMMWV trucks as per Army MSR doctrine is BS not moral or working


NJ turnpike idea: no matter what you do if you are on the road you WILL pay toll



squadron of leased 12 OV-1 Mohawks or bought Cessnas with sensors/weapons and missionary STOL devices

Joe Katzman:

Start with BattleBoxes, keep presentation focus. Have air as last bit to specifically answer mortar issue and rapid reaction.



Assume 100 km of road to secure

every 1 km big number 1, 2, 3 etc visible from air day/night from 1, 000

meters out of effective small arms range

air spotters can instantly relay sightings with ground reference

at 100 km/hour plane will cover MSR 4x in 4 hour patrol, 24/7/365

may have ground sensors to detect saboteurs



Consider British experience in 20s/30s:

1 x 9-man squad every 1000m in hardened iso container "battle box" patrol base

live indefinitely with own mini kitchen, shower/bathroom bunks in battle box, generator

to recharge batteries, BBs filled with dirt walled check points; Guard towers

2 x M1113 Gavins or BFVs to rove/FLIR night vision surveill

3 squads per platoon, 3 PLTs per COmpany, 3 companies per BN, 3 BNs per bde =

81 squads

add 19 provisional squads from BDE and BN HQs and you easily have 100+ picket


Joe Katzman:

I’m probably going to go after your battlebox pickets with mortars, if they’re close to a built-up area. ROE will prevent you from just shooting back. Similar to harassment of existing fixed bases. Good news is troops will be better protected against anything other than a direct hit. But pickets do give me as the enemy more places to harass.



* mission is to search/verify every car/truck entering turnpike is not dangerous

* deny anyone laying roadside bombs

* must insure convoys pass through their zone safely

* recover all broken vehicles/personnel if this occurs--think like a downed pilot E&E line

* radio n visual contact with air spotters using km marker system

* come to aid of nearby pickets if attacked

Joe Katzman:

Go to DID and look up “Backscatter” Bet that can be containerized too. The occasional backscatter container quietly finds car bombs and passes alerts down the line....


Joe Katzman:

Don’t assume the reader knows what you’re talking about. If it’s necessary to talk about, SHOW.


MSGT Mark LaSalle:

“Besides their main purpose, recovery ops/wreck clearance would be easier

and safer. 1000m is within range where dragging wrecks with snatch

cables is practical. This would limit exposure of crews at attack sites.

Don't know how many Landoll trailers they have available (I frequent

tow truck boards and know they use them for recovery in Iraq), but

Landolls are also a standard for delivering ISO containers.”

Phil West:

“FYI Ralph Zumbro’s concepts on MSR can be accessed directly with:”

Joe Katzman:

If you’re gonna use that, go through the whole sequence then show how BBs would have short circuited it.



all 81mm, 120mm mortars spread out to cover entire length of 100 km MSR Operates

own small UAVs to help spot flying under 1,000 meters to not interfere with

manned air spotters


CH-47 or CH-53E helicopter squadron with 3D maneuver company size infantry QRF on

call with own M113 Gavins



Phil West & Ralph Zumbro:

“About 80% down under "armoring the arteries" and below the link about the need for light observation aircraft -I can add a direct #name link on the next update if you want -what do you want it called? "#outpost"? It is not a direct quote from Ralph -just a concept when hashed out -ie I posed the problem, he solved it and I wrote it up.

"Areas adjacent to MSRs need to be aggressively patrolled or occupied by both dismounted personnel and cross-country vehicles. This will deny the guerilla easy movement. When a convoy is expected in an area such a force will make pre-emptive visits to likely trouble spots. At various locations parallel to the MSR will be small bases equipped with indirect fire weapons, distanced so they can fire in defense of each other and in support of convoys. The main guns of tanks can be used in such a role as well as mortars and artillery. Convoys

should be preceded by their own reconnaissance units and have engineer support.

As we have so recently seen in Madrid (March, 2004), a nation's rail system is also likely to be a target, so measures for track and station security must be taken. In certain situations novel forms of transport, such as cargo airships can be used to move bulk cargoes without the need for ground travel though terrorist held areas. "

Joe Katzman:

Top paragraph adds nothing



Joe Katzman:

Not sure the bicycle patrol bit will be understood...

A BB formation option would be a dispersed circle with the M113 Gavin TAFV prime mover in-between with thermal long-range surveillance bolstering the guard towers on top of the BBs. The peda-generators could be folding mountain or electric bikes that detach from stands for roving patrols inside or outside the BB perimeter...


William Owen’s Patrol Base Model for British Army

Could easily be constructed using ISO Container Battle Boxes!



160 feet or 50 meters

160 feet or 50 meters


BattleBoxes may have Hesco Concertainer “kangaroo pouches”

on outer walls to fill with dirt/rocks to provide more ballistic

protection initially, Rhino Snot seals dirt top from water/moisture

One of the M113 Gavins with dozer blade quickly fills up boxes with dirt/rocks to provide extra ballistic protection. Or a small Bobcat front-end dozer.

LTC Altersitz: “If the unit had 3 of its own organic Bobcat(r) type excavators,

carried in a box, it could dig itself in quickly and pile up soil as additional

protection around the boxes. You're already mobile (how did the boxes get

there?), so any additional weight is minimal. Almost make a Bobcat a mobile

protected machinegun/HVGL vehicle, with a little armor over the wheels/cab,

use an M240 or Mk19 on the cab roof. Have it with the QRF; stop a LOT of

idiots in their tracks when they got hit by a very light armor section ;-))).”



MSGT Mark LaSalle, USAF writes: “Other options for burial would be to trench 1/2 the battle box height and use the fill in front of them. That would allow quicker emplacement with simpler equipment. If buying Bobcats or equivalent, get commercially available foam-filled or solid tires and steel (perhaps with polyurethane pads) tracks for combat durability.

LTC Altersitz has a good point, which I think I can solve easily: If landing gear legs (they do not need a cross shaft and can be operated individually with the standard hand crank) are integrated ~1ft from each corner, simpler, lighter non-articulated mobilizers could be used for some containers. Since the landing gear raises and lowers the box, no forklift is needed, and the mobilizers can be simple clip-on frames. The landing gear would cost almost no interior space, allow easy leveling of the box, and make it easy to adjust box combinations for mating.”



1st Squad


3rd Squad


2nd Squad




Suggest M901 horse shoe skate mounts that can detach/attach when hatches are

opened so top of BattleBox can stay in virgin state for stacking for sea transport, two

other top hatches for riflemen desirable; 1-3 men can surveil or fight as 2-4 men rest,

pass ammo from huge supplies underneath, man radios/field phones = mini-pillbox

M901 horses shoe skate mount



1st Squad



3rd Squad

2nd Squad




at least 100 meters out to first masking terrain feature


1st Squad

3rd Squad


2nd Squad


OUTER SECURITY WATCH TOWERS Extra Containers when they arrive with a lift capabilities can make towers that can see far out from perimeter


M113 (M806) Gavin with 5-ton crane to lift BattleBoxes on/off dollies, stack for

guard towers

LTC Altersitz: “You can

reduce the # of boxes by a

third, which makes the log

folks happy. You probably

need a dedicated crane or

rough-terrain forklift at BN

to lift battle boxes off

their dollies. I'm not happy

with the dollies; yeah, I

know they're in the system,

but look at how much you

have to do with them to

open the doors. You need

a dedicated crane/forklift to

re-mount all the boxes and

what does it take to dismount them?

One more reason to reduce the # of boxes.

If you had a simple tracked set for the front and

back of the box, it makes moving easier. Still need to lift

the box to get them out/back under. A GAVIN with a

5-ton boom per Company? Lifts one end, track set

removed, lowers to ground, does the other end same

way? Reverses procedure at CSMO (Close Shop Move Out) time?”

Joe Katzman:

Don’t fully get this slide after sentence #3. State more affirmatively.


American Company Providing Conex Box Guard Tower Kits to DoD already!

Joe Katzman:


Creative Building Products

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Product Name Part No. Color Pricing GSA

Complete Unit 9672OD Olive Drab Call for Quote Pending

Complete Unit 9672DT Desert Tan


Guard Tower 9672OD-GT Olive Drab Call for Quote Pending

Guard Tower 9672DT-GT Desert Tan

Conex Box 9672OD-CB Olive Drab

Conex Box 9672DT-CB Desert Tan

Concertina Wire 9672CW Silver

Wire Installation Kit 9672-WIK -


Cover 9672OD-CV Olive Drab Call for Quote Pending

Cover 9672DT-CV Desert Tan

Wood Replacement Kit 9672OD-WRK -

Product Approx Size Approx Weight

Guard Tower 8' (W) 8' (H) x 6' (L) 1000 lbs

Conex Box 8' (W) x 8' (H) x 6' 5 1/2" (L) 2700 lbs

Concertina Wire 1 pallet = 75 coils = 3750 ft 952 lbs

Complete Unit 8' (W) x 16' (H) x 6' (L) 4652 lbs

f.o.b. origin

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Please email all comments and suggestions to the WEBMASTER

Joe Katzman:

No cost data... Otherwise excellent sense

Why settle for troops living in flimsy

tents when they could be in dug-in

special configured metal Battle Boxes?



Snipers, enemy small arms/RPG fire doesn’t have line-of-sight to reach perimeter center

Joe Katzman:

So it’s gonna be mortars...



Cars/trucks cannot easily reach perimeter center

Container doors restrict

access as gates



LTC Jarnot: “Excellent idea, I worked extensively with Connexs to provide towers at Bagram and the Brits used theirs to sand bag them in using pre-containerized metal screen bags to fill with sand.”

SSG Heitman: “I like the concept. This is a winner from the UMO side of the house. I would include sufficient HESCO barriers to fortify the outer perimeter and protect from RPGs. The are easy to install and easy to toss in one connex for transportation. If a Jump TOC is anticipated, order new ones through S-4 and this leaves a pre-fortified perimeter for the replacing group to roll their BBs into, assuming the Army can do this universally…”

LTC Altersitz: “I really don't want to become too fixed in a position, because it saves the bad guys ammo if they can target each location accurately. You end up being a mobile home park and "trailer trash". I'd like to move stuff around and have decoys set up to attract fire.

You can prevent vehicle bombs by a ditch and berm system. Dig a ditch .5m deep and .5m wide on likely avenues of approach. Put the dirt on the inside of the ditch towards you. The front wheels fall into the ditch and the vehicle nose is stopped by the berm. No unidentified vehicle gets close and certainly no civilian vehicle with locals in it. And you have the claymore markers past the berm line to shred any vehicle that tries to run the slow-downs at the checkpoint.

The marines in Beirut could have been saved if the gate guard had a bank of claymores to fire if anyone tried to speed past him. He sees the vehicle isn't stopping, he ducks behind the big layers of sandbags, covers his ears and fires the mines. As it was, he wasn't allowed to fire his weapon, which wasn't loaded. Now we know, but it was an option back then to prevent people from attacking the post in any method.”

Joe Katzman:

Ah, answers the question in my mind from last slide, Nice idea.



Joe Katzman:

Hadn’t considered that. Cool!



Sven Ortmann:“BTW, as a helipad, you should incorporate a foldable wind indicator (not visible all the time...snipers).“About outpost equipment - some sensors (thermal, 360° counter-mortar locator radar "LCMR", presented in Field Artillery Journal Sept/Oct 2002, page 18 or something similar, PDCue or other probably more proven sniper detector system) and some counter-fire assets (armored counter-sniper post with .50" AMR, 82mm 2B9 Vasilek or 120mm DragonFire mortar)

would be interesting. About the reinforcing of the walls with sand; machines exist that replace dozens of Soldiers filling sandbags. I don't think it would be too much to assume that the establishment of a

semi-permanent outpost justifies the use of such equipment. At least one such machine fits a 3-ton truck.* The sandbagging won't RPG-proof the containers - but spalling would at least be negligible without hard armor. Some automatic fire-extinguishing system in each container wouldn't hurt and doors sides of the containers need kevlar liners against mortar fragments because you cannot fill "kangaroo pouches" there. Same with edges.

"Container doors" as barriers - do you think of small one-man doors in the container full-size doors? Otherwise, it would be impractical to arrange them like that.

The car bomb protection argument is difficult - I don't think that it would really protect against a 500 kg fertilizer/diesel bomb or such. Jane's shows dedicated quick-build walls for this purpose in one of my

yearbooks and those blast deflection walls were more than a meter thick IIRC. But car bombs should be no problem; just dig a 1m trench around the camp at 50m distance, with triple, frequently defoliaged barbed wire coils as reinforcement at 60 and 100m (also acting as 'fence' signal. You need the space for your 100m security zone anyway and an engineer vehicle needs only two days or so for the job. At that distance, it might indeed be blast-proof enough.

Overall, fortress planning is tempting - but it should be no more than an involuntary measure in high-threat COIN environments. There's a "too much" for force protection, and really interesting is what the soldiers do outside of the camp. The tendency seems to be that the answer is "not much" if you look a lot at force protection and comfort…”

Joe Katzman:

Dunno re: fire extinguishers... Take up space and can be a hazard all their own if pierced. Like the Kevlar lining and sand.


BATTLE BOXES WITH SLIDING WALLS: each box has a slide-out wall to extend dispersion between boxes to create 100-130 meter x 100 meter perimeter*


would create 200-230m x 200m perimeter

Joe Katzman:

There’s no place like Rome.... SPQR!

BattleBox stacked on top to make watch tower


LTC Altersitz: “Almost better to treat the boxes as two-man fighting positions and space them to cover each other, front end towards enemy and doors towards the center of the position. Firing ports open at corners. Put them in a "V" formation, doors to the point (bottom) of the "V". You have 6 fireteams per platoon (3 squads), 18 per company (9 squads). Two men per box means a squad has 4 boxes to fight from, so you'd have all boxes covered by 7 1/2 squads. Leaves 3 fire teams as QRF, along with any additional Co weapons.

Use regular claymores to sweep open areas and mini-mores, aimed below the firing port level, to cover areas between boxes. Extra protection inside the boxes for the troops to fight from could be kevlar/layers of wood/kevlar sandwiches.“

Joe Katzman:

The configurations slides are a real strong point. They get the imagination going.





* Aircraft and satellite observation/detection/attacks

* Artillery

* Mortars

* Guided missiles

* Theater Ballistic Missiles

* Cruise Missiles

* Chem-Bio attacks

* Nuclear attacks


BATTLE BOXES OPTION A: detach BBs from front face walls to preserve outer perimeter, boxes dug into the ground to form inner, underground perimeter

Inner Underground perimeter


BATTLEBOXES OPTION B: dug boxes into the ground to form underground perimeter with boxes roof’s flush with ground level; keep visible outer perimeter walls with gaps

Joe Katzman:

Stress benefit vs. mortars more in these.


BATTLEBOXES OPTION C: dug boxes into the ground to form COVERT underground perimeter with boxes roof’s flush with ground level; no visible outer perimeter



1. Dig hole with ramp to slide box into ground, with enough space to open doors

2. Slide box into hole

3. Fill dirt or pour concrete all around box

4.Fill dirt, sandbag or place concrete slabs (or all 3 options) on roof leaving top

hatch(es) capable of being opened

5. Place step kit on ramp for ingress/egress and to channel water away

6. Connect electrical power sources to boxes to run night vision, commo and save


7. camouflage










Joe Katzman:

Make in/out methods clear, reiterate.


MSGT Mark.LaSalle: “BattleBox/Base Box ISO containers as shelter cores and roofs for Texas Barriers: I sent the following to SFTT, then thought of your site. If we are going to stay where bad folks use mortars, using stock or custom ISO boxes potted in reinforced concrete is too nice not to adopt. These things are terrific instant buildings, and un-potted units are all over the ME. On the home front, I'm going to get more (I have two so far) for myself. Even camo'ed the street side so it attractively blends with my trees and the neighbors don't complain. Texas barriers don't provide overhead cover. Not being at Balad, I don't know how many ISO 20 and 40 foot shipping containers are handy, but they are common in the Middle East. If supplies are delivered in them keeping the container would also let the delivering truck travel light on the way back to port. Containers would make a good internal form for a poured-in-place concrete bunker and act as an anti-spall liner after the concrete cures. To pour in place a set of mobile forms and a concrete pump would do the trick. If you have mixer trucks and no pump a ramp trailer pulled next to the form might do the job. Adding doors, power, etc. to these containers onsite before "bunkerising" would be simple, using basic home shop-level power tools (I have a nice personal shop I made from a 40f'x9'6" High Cube version) and a welder. Appropriate holes for standard HVAC pack hoses would be easy to cut.

Custom buildings made from ISO boxes are used by industry world-wide, and joining multiple containers makes for some versatile structures. Another option would be to pour a reinforced concrete "cap" that would bridge two Texas Barriers and bolt to rods cast or anchored in their tops. With this combination you could protect trailers, ISO boxes, or vehicles. With all the barrier "walls" we've poured since 1990, a "roof" using them is so obvious it's been overlooked...

Joe Katzman:

The back-trip argument deserves more prominence.



Sven Ortmann: “the underground stuff increases protection, but makes the base near-permanent, the overall concept less flexible. To bury so much stuff, you`ll need considerable earthworks and I think the more the establishment of a base requires, the les are the officers willing to give it up and send it to a better location if the need arises elsewhere. Further, it`s not clear anymore whether you want to bury the outside

containers, too or where the additional containers for burying in the inside shall come from. Another general idea for the use of containers may be to use basic

modules for a checkpoint. Checkpoints tend to become sandbag fortresses in peacemaker ops, I think the Soldiers would be grateful to have a trustworthy structure and some climate-proof, comfortable boxes behind/below the sandbag walls. The structural requirements for such a task would be enormous, though. What I wrote to you about the armament and sensors of the outpost originated in my thinking about standardized quick set-up outpost containers a year ago or so.”

RESPONSE: If you think burying battle boxes induces laziness/unwillingness to move, how about living in Saddam's palaces which have created a guerrilla war and a strategic defeat for the U.S.?

If you bury the battle boxes you can at least remove them when you pull out and leave the country. You can move your FOBs composed of battle boxes, you cannot move palaces.

Joe Katzman:

After sentence 2, none of this is useful.



Army LTC X: “I scanned this briefly and this is an excellent presentation. The "last" "Hajis" we fought...well...the second to the last because the last ones were Somalis and so you have to go through those then the Hezbollah in uh...then yes...ah, yes I think we are now safe in saying some Hajis back, that is to say the Vietnamese, were very adept at using the ground. There is this group think born out of none other than Guderian, that if you are not mobile you are not winning or you are dead. That was further expounded upon after the French experience in Vietnam where they created their hedgehog defense along static lines (you would have thought that the Maginot Line would have had an impression upon them) which we then adopted in the form of fire bases and ultimately left a sour taste in our mouths about static defense. Hence, I think, the hesitation to "harden" things. That and the psychological issue of being buried...But I digress...

One of the issues that several loggies had that I spoke too was that we spend an inordinate amount of money on ISOs. AND we cannot track them. The Army loses track of rented ISOs and then is paying the dime on the things. If the Army were to purchase them we could save tons just one rent AND they store very well. We rent these things and they are something like $100 a day or some insane amount of money like that. Your concept relieves just that issue alone by making the simple CONEX a battlefield system. It can be built to be a shipping container with modular living space units like racks and light sets and also be built as a defensive position for an instant patrol base. You ship the unit equipment in them, Dig it in and then live in it and fight from it. It makes sense to me. When you are done, you dig it out and move on. Now one thing about engineering, the hydraulic pressure of the earth around it will mandate that it be reinforced to avoid collapsing under that pressure. I don't think I would completely bury it, perhaps up to five feet so that guys sleeping are shielded from direct fire while they sleep but so that you can minimize dirt and sand and crap falling in after blowing over the top of it.

1. Use a top "deck hatch" arrangement so that interior access can be had with stairs and not a ladder. Armor the hatch so that it can be used as a gun shield when the ISO is in fighting position.

2. Waterproof it so that you can avoid ground water seepage into the box.

Joe Katzman:

This is a major point


3. Install secondary smaller hatches with platforms so that several Soldiers or MARINES can fight from the

top from protected positions.

The beauty of this is that we no longer have to rent the CONEX's because they become our shipping, living

and fighting positions in deployment. You need something better than a Skidsteer, although 2 per battalion

as a standard load out would be good if for nothing more than rapidly moving dirt to berm the sides after a

D-7 has excavated the principal hole. Perhaps two Skidsteers and 2 D-7s per Battalion. I would think with

some concerted effort you could arrive and be dug in in a matter of a day or two depending

upon earth conditions. The other beauty of this is that by burrowing these things and putting a modular

shade over the top you can really cut down on the thermal penalty of the environment. The ground will cool

and help heat the living containers and so the impact on the AC units will be much less.

Last thought. I am still confused as to why the military has fixated itself on the Helicopter as a patrol

aircraft. We use the venerable Cessna 172 and 182 as a State Police patrol aircraft all over the United

States. Frankly, that is exactly what we need in Iraq. Cheap to operate, low thermal signature and very

useful observation platform. Throw some smoke rocket pods and a laser on it and you have a designator.

Heck of a lot cheaper than the Predator and you have eyes on. I think a couple of these with crews would

be ideal for the Balad BIAP route and would take a heck of a load off of the OH-58D...but Oh I forgot...we

need to be super high tech now don't we and money is no object...

I'll give you another thought, the Army needs to go to the Air Force and tell them that the Key West

Agreement is dead and that we will assume the Low Altitude CAS mission and relieve them of the A-10.

The A-10 belongs in the Army and we are going to spend a boatload of money on the JSF when what really

scares the piss out of Haji's is the Thunderbolt II. That aircraft needs to be relicensed, manufactured and

sent to the US Army. Some may argue that the worst thing that ever happened was the development of the

USAF and the elimination of the Army Air corps.

Joe Katzman:

Agree on the Cessnas and OA-10s... But what does this have to do with battleboxes beond the scenario we already did? Leave them in scenarios. Key West stuff may be true but isn’t part of THIS argument. Delete.


Ralph Zumbo:I'd half or three quarters bury the sucker and sandbag from there up. We used to dig to

waist level or a tad lower, and sandbag up. Also gives a place to put firing slits. You can also use a shaped

charge to blow the initial hole. Then clean it up with a post hole digger or an auger and force in about 20 lbs

of military dynamite. (heaving, not shattering because of the lower brisiance...I have done this) A

couple of hours with shovels squaring off the resulting hole and you have not only an emplacement, but

enough loose sand and rock to fill the sandbags. Another alternative that we used was 55 gallon drums full

of sand. If you use a mixture of sand and cement and hose the sandbags down, you have a cement wall.

Anything that, just pour water into it and it heals automatically.

Joe Katzman:

Lots of good suggestions. They need to be (a) pared down to concrete “to do” suggestions, organized better so they’re grouped with similars I.e. we’re at this point in the presentations, talking about X, here are all the related concrete suggestions & possibilities. You can do this. Or this. Or this. Wow, look at all the flexibility! Now, if we want to go on to this configuration, we can...

I’ll add that unless the names are known to people, attribution needs to include something right there that makes one listen because any use of a name is implicitly an argument from experience or authority. “Ralph Zumbo, served El Salvador 1983-88”, or MSG Ralph Zumbro (ret.)... Or just feature the suggestion sans name.



LTC Larry Altersitz: “You have 2 boxes per squad for basic support needs. So a squad is two boxes and a GAVIN, which have to be protected when not on the march. Might be better to make it one box per GAVIN and use the idea of the

box as a base-of-fire (BOF) and the GAVIN as the maneuver element if the

company position is attacked? Have the SL, DVR, 3 Riflemen use the GAVIN as an ACAV cavalry sweeper, not dropping off troops to engage anyone, just slicing into an enemy and getting out. The remaining fireteam uses the battlebox as a base-of-fire. Could have an M240, a 60mm mortar, a .50 HBMG/MK19, etc., to provide fires. Easy to add the sensor suite to a non-moving object and that allows GPS to locate the object to 10 places. Now you have the ability to polar plot indirect fire missions from any box in support of the squad GAVIN.”





Joe Katzman:

What happens to the other half of the squad? Live in the Gavin?



Sven Ortmann: “The Base-of-fire idea seems useful mostly in siege situations, with

emplacement and hardening at night. More oversight than from


Joe Katzman:

Or picket situations


1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne)

1LT Mike Sparks USAR

LTC (R) Larry Altersitz USAR

LTC (R) Chuck Jarnot U.S. Army

MSG Mark LaSalle USAF

SSG Brian Heitman, U.S. Army

Frmr-MSG Ralph Zumbro, Tank Expert

Sven Ortmann former German Luftwaffe

Phil West, World Adventurer/Inventor

Mark Ash, former USMC tanker

David Butcher, pedal power inventor

Military Thinker/Author

William Owen, former British Army


Victor O’Reilly, author, military futurist

Jim Brennan

Spirit of

JC Brown

Butch Walker

Bud Calkin, inventor, former Army medic

Battle Box Creators