TOYOTA: The technical is a force to be reckoned with in the third world.

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No history of the pickup-truck era of warfare would be complete without mentioning the Somalis. The term “technical” originated in Somalia: international NGOs would use “technical assistance grants” to hire and equip local guards, and “technical” quickly became the shorthand term for their armed trucks. Somali politics are clan-dominated, and the strength of a Somali clan is measured in how much livestock they own and how many technicals they can field. Muhammad Farah Adid, perhaps the most powerful single warlord to rise and fall since the collapse of Somalia, and victor of the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu against American Rangers, was carried to his grave in the back of one of his Toyota Land Cruiser pickups.


For three decades, one vehicle has dominated Third World battlefields. Ubiquitous and incognito, chances are you’re less than a mile from one right now. You could pass one on virtually any street in any city in the world and you wouldn't think twice.The vehicle costs a fraction as much as a modern main battle tank. In fact, you can buy 266 of them for the cost of just one tank. Plus it’s more dependable than a tank—and easier to maintain.
It’s not produced by the United States, Russia, France, China or any of the major arms exporters. It’s made by Japan, an avowedly pacifist country that prohibits the export of arms abroad … particularly to Third World combat zones.

There are lots of reasons why Toyota pickups have become the primary combat vehicles of the Third World.
Poor countries are saturated with light pickup trucks. Many of them were sold new in developed nations, driven for a while then sold abroad. They’re on hand, available to be snatched up by local militias as needed.
They’re easily acquired, legally or otherwise. Often they are even given to armed groups by foreign governments as “nonlethal aid.” The U.S. State Department has donated pickups to the rebel Free Syrian Army.
Pickup trucks’ mobility makes them ideal for Third World warfare. Four-wheel-drives can tackle almost any terrain. Light trucks don't weigh much, allowing them to cross weak bridges and fragile roads that would be impassable to armored vehicles weighing tens of tons.


The speed of a pickup is handy on the battlefield, helping fighters overcome those other hallmarks of Third World warfare: bad intelligence, weak leadership, poor planning.
Pickup trucks require no special logistical support; any country with gas stations—that is, every country on Earth—can support them. They don’t guzzle fuel like heavy military vehicles and they don’t require constant maintenance. If a pickup breaks down, parts probably can be found. And if they can’t, well, it’s just a pickup truck. Park it. Walk away.
Pickups don’t require special training to operate. Unlike armored vehicles, anyone who already knows how to drive a car can drive a truck with a machine gun bolted on the back.

They call that a “technical,” by the way. The lack of armor on a pickup truck isn’t really a big problem. Woody Allen once said that 80 percent of life is just showing up. In the Third World, most fighting ends once it’s clear that one side is stronger than the other. A pickup truck can hustle a heavy machine gun or a squad of armed men to the battlefield. And if the odds look bad, it can just as quickly drive off.

In 1992, Somalia suffered a devastating famine. The United States led a multinational force to protect the flow of humanitarian aid. This provoked a clash with Somali warlords. As U.S. and allied troops fanned out across the country, they noticed a large number of technicals, mostly Toyotas, modified to carry heavy weapons such as machine guns, light cannon and recoilless rifles. There were silly rumors that the auto manufacturer, for some unexplained reason, had given the trucks to the Somali warlords.


It was in Somalia that the armed Toyota pickup—or any armed pickup, for that matter—earned the moniker “technical.” The term is thought to be short for “technical assistance,” a service bought from warlords by aid organizations, often in the form of armed Toyota trucks to ensure that humanitarian aid reached its destination.
Friction between peacekeepers and Somali warlords sparked repeated skirmishes and ultimately the infamous “Black Hawk Down” incident in 1993. American forces battled the Somali technicals, the heaviest firepower the militias could muster.




“I am an empathic and emotionally-aware person.
Very mobile powerful weapon. Who new Japanese were so reliable,
The Technical is the cheapest, awesomest, most easily manufactured infantry fighting vehicle (ifv) in the (third) world. Unlike the Killdozer, they require neither an engineering degree nor a missiom from God to manufacture. To be a technical, a vehicle must have two things:
1) A flatbed
2) A mounted gun
Technicals are most often pickup trucks, but are sometimes SUV's and other trucks modified to incorporate a flatbed. The most common Technical is built out of a Toyota pickup because of their reliablity and price in the third world. The Toyota Hilux (Tacoma) is a good choice. The flatbed mounts the Technical's gun. Light and heavy beltfed machineguns are common choices here, and when mounted in a good position will provide 360 degree machine gun support to a gunner standing in the flatbed, and usually leave enough room for other passengers in the flatbed. Ideally, a flatbed can hold four to six troops and a machine gunner, but your mileage may vary. This results in a gun truck, of the kind we've seen since machine guns were mounted on jeeps in World War II.

However, the Technical is hardly limited to a machine gun. Often, technicals will mount whatever large weapon is handy. They've been seen mounting light towed artillery, recoilless rifles, and anti-aircraft guns. Obviously, some of these weapons would not work well with passengers in the flatbed. If they didn't result in the gunner artillery-whipping passengers with the barrel or vomiting superheated gasses all over them, the fantastic noise and flash of muzzle blasts would probably leave most passengers dazed and confused. RPG and LAW rockets make poor choices for Technical mounted guns because of their poor ammunition capacitiy, poor reloadability, and superheated exhaust.

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