NEW ORLEANS --
The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, often referred to as Humvee, has served the U.S. armed forces for more than three decades. Its successor, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, is finally finding its new home with the Marine Corps Reserve.
The JLTV was designed to offer protection levels greater than those of up-armored Humvees and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected designs, but in a considerably smaller and lighter package.
Andrew Rogers, program manager with Light Tactical Vehicles, and his team conduct an annual roadshow for different units slated to receive the tactical vehicle, showcasing to them all the capabilities of the JLTV.
“During 2017, we traveled to I MEF, II MEF, III MEF and Logistics Command,” said Rogers. “This year we are bringing in Marine Forces Reserve, who are three years out from receiving the JLTV. We will return for the next two consecutive years to make sure MFR is knowledgeable about what they are going to get.”
Out of the Marine Corps’ first order of more than 5,000 JLTVs, roughly 130 will be fielded to Marine Forces Reserve within the next three years, while the active component can expect to see them within their units as early as the beginning of 2019, explains Rogers.
“By the end of 2021 we should see the JLTVs in use in Reserve units across the country,” said Rogers.
The JLTV program is a joint service program, primarily led by the Army in cooperation with the Marine Corps and United States Special Operations Command, to replace a percentage of Humvees in the fleet of light armored vehicles across each military branch Reserve force.
Transportability is a key JLTV requirement. The JLTV has an electronic adjustable height suspension that allows the vehicle to ‘squat’ to fit in restricted height spaces on amphibious warfare ships and the ability to be raised to traverse difficult terrain while carrying armor and payload.
The JLTV also has comparable off-road performance, acceleration and speed to the Humvee and is air transportable, connecting externally via helicopter or riding internally via cargo plane.
“The JLTV is a game changer for everybody,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Brian Brooksby, a motor transportation maintenance officer with the Light Tactical Vehicles team. “This is an infantryman’s truck. It will be motor transportation operated, but it’s built with the warfighter in mind.”
The transition to the new tactical vehicle will be done systematically over a several decade timeframe. This is due to the Humvee’s long operational lifespan and the overall time it takes to build, disperse and integrate the JLTV into the fleet in best condition.
“The Marines currently have approximately 20,000 Humvees still in operation,” said Rogers. “They will most likely still be in service for another 20 years before being fully transitioned out. The last person to operate a Humvee in a combat situation has not been born yet.”