Military

Marines Declare Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Ready for the Front Lines

The Marine Corps will begin fielding new Joint Light Tactical Vehicles to Marine expeditionary units next month now that the service has declared the Humvee replacement ready for the battlefield.

Marine Corps Combat Development Command recently announced that the JLTV program has reached initial operational capability (IOC), a milestone it reached nearly a year ahead of schedule, according to a recent service news release.

“The warfighting capabilities the JLTV provides our Marines far exceed the capabilities offered by its predecessor,” John Garner, Marine Program Executive Officer for Land Systems, said in the release. “I’m proud of what our team, in collaboration with the Army, has accomplished. Their commitment to supporting the warfighter delivered an exceptional vehicle, ahead of schedule, that Marines will use to dominate on the battlefield now and well into the future.”

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Several elements needed to be met before the JLTV program could be declared ready for IOC, the release states, describing how the program office had to ensure all the operators were fully trained and maintenance tools and spare parts packages were ready.

“IOC is more than just saying that the schoolhouses and an infantry battalion all have their trucks,” Eugene Morin, product manager for JLTV at Program Executive Office Land Systems, said in the release. “All of the tools and parts required to support the system need to be in place, the units must have had received sufficient training, and each unit commander needs to declare that he is combat-ready.”

The Fiscal 2018 Annual Report from the Defense Department’s Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, was critical of the joint Army and Marine JLTV program, identifying problems ranging from safety issues, such as a lack of situational awareness, to maintenance issues that led to mission failures.

The Marine Corps countered that much of the data in the report was compiled before the services had taken steps to address the shortcomings.

The Corps is scheduled to start fielding the JLTV to I Marine Expeditionary Force and III MEF before the end of September, the release states.

Marine Light Tactical Vehicle Program Manager Andrew Rodgers said in the release that IOC is “really only the beginning of the JLTV’s future legacy.”

“We are really at the starting line right now. Our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will see JLTVs in the DoD,” Rodgers said. “We’ll easily still have these assets somewhere in the DoD in the year 2100.”

— Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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