SEPTEMBER 21, 2021 – The Army has been rolling out its new tactical vehicle for some months now, and Soldiers are learning how to safely operate it at Fort McCoy.
“This is OPNET — operator new equipment training. We teach the students the characteristics and the capabilities of the JLTV (Joint Light Tactical Vehicle) and teach them how to operate it safely,” said Sgt. 1st Class Marcus Narcisse, an instructor at the JLTV Training Center at Fort McCoy.
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 (HMMWV), the Palletized Loading System and other series of vehicles and combined them into one.
“When Oshkosh (Defense) developed the JLTV they talked about the ‘3 Ps’ — 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 improvised explosive device). The truck is designed to blow apart but keep the occupants inside safe,” Narcisse said.
Narcisse said the JLTV will slowly replace the HMMWV in the Army’s fleet. He also added that the Army is keeping the HMMWV around as more of an everyday-use vehicle.
The JLTV Training Center at Fort McCoyt 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. One recent class was 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 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 start hands-on training with 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.
Learn more about Fort McCoy online at https://home.army.mil/mccoy, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.” Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set “Fort McCoy” or another installation as your preferred base.
BY SGT. WILLIAM WASHBURN
88th Readiness Division Public Affairs