FORT McCOY, Wis. –
After two days spent learning about the ins, outs, ups, downs, and all arounds of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, 12 Soldiers from the 492nd Civil Affairs Battalion were able to start the engines and experience all the upgrades of the Army Reserve’s newest vehicle during training here July 20, 2022.
“The technology on these compared to the standard Humvee is huge,” said Sgt. Sam Lehman, civil affairs operator, 492nd CA Bn. “These have the upgraded suspension. The electronics in these are far superior. There’s a lot more going on. It’s tracking everything digitally and electronically. The Humvees are old fashioned. It’s like a 1960s pickup compared to a brand-new Corvette.”
These Army Reserve Soldiers were able to navigate through an obstacle course on their first day of getting behind the wheel of the JLTV. Gary Leamons, a JLTV training coordinator with the 88th Readiness Division, observed as the Soldiers took turns through the course that had the accelerate, stop, turn and back up.
“Once they get it, they get it,” Leamons said of the Soldiers learning how to drive the JLTV. “It handles a lot differently than a Humvee. It’s a smoother ride. When you’re riding over rough terrain in a Humvee, it’s sometimes hard to control. With a JLTV, it’s a smoother ride, it responds better, especially with braking.”
Sergeant 1st Class Dion Luebke, a civil affairs operator with the 492nd CA Bn., said the upgrades a JLTV provides are not just inside the vehicle.
“This vehicle offers us the ability to be more protected as well as the capability of the vehicle being able to follow behind in support of combat operations,” he said. I think in the future, these are a great benefit to USACAPOC both CA and PSYOP.”
Classes like these on JLTV operations, as well as maintenance, are offered throughout the year through the 88th RDs training teams either at Fort McCoy or through a mobile training team.
“We’re getting a lot more,” Leamons said. “We only had one class of [Operator New Equipment Training] planned this year and we’re at eight now. We’re not only doing Soldiers but also the AMSA and ECS employees as well.”