FORT McCOY, Wis. –
The U.S. Army has been rolling out its new tactical vehicle for some months now, and Soldiers are learning how to safely operate it. Much of that training is going on right here.
“This is OPNET, operator new equipment training -- we teach the students the characteristics and the capabilities of the JLTV and teach them how to operate it safely,” said Sgt. 1st Class Marcus Narcisse, an instructor at the JLTV training center here.
One of the things students are surprised by when they first drive the JLTV is the suspension.
“It rides like a Cadillac,” said Narcisse. “It's one of the smoothest vehicles in the military on wheels.”
To design the JLTV, the military took the best of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, the high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle, the palletized loading system and other vehicles and combined them into one.
“When Oshkosh [Defense] developed the JLTV they talked about the '3 P's:' the performance, the protection and the payload. All three of those areas the HMMWV failed at. The payload with the added armor slowed it down. The performance, the HMMWV doesn't have the mobility of this truck. And the protection. It has a V-Kit that will deflect the blast [of an IED]. The truck is designed to blow apart but keep the occupants inside safe,” added Narcisse.
Narcisse said the JLTV will slowly replace the HMMWV in the Army's combat arsenal. He also added that the Army is keeping the HMMWV around as more of an everyday use vehicle.
The JLTV training center here is training all components of the Army on the new vehicle. They have trained active duty as well as Reserve units and even Special Forces units here. The current class is made up of psychological operations and civil affairs Soldiers.
“This course has been great. All of the instructors are very informative and the classes are being run smoothly,” said Spec. Sean Mohan, a psychological operations specialist with the 351st Psychological Operations Company out of Fort Totten, N.Y. “I like the fact that our classroom settings are small and you get more one-on-one time with the instructors. If you have questions you can get those answers from the instructor.”
After a few days of classroom instruction, the students get their hands on the JLTV. They first drive around on level ground so they can get used to how the vehicle operates. After that, students see what the JLTV can really do by taking it off road around an obstacle course.
“The obstacle course was awesome! We went through a lot of different types of terrain; then moving to the actual off road which was a little challenging for some of the guys, but we all pulled through,” Mohan said. “We actually had a truck with an oil leak and it was cool to see a real-world scenario about what can actually happen to a truck. Then we learned how to identify the problem, set up the tow bar and keep on going.” The truck was then towed back for maintenance by another JLTV.
For more information on the JLTV training course visit www.home.army.mil/mccoy and click on ranges, training and scheduling for links to training courses.