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New Vehicle Replaces Humvee in Afghanistan

21 Jan 2010 | Cpl. Jacob A. Singsank

The Marine Corps was in search of a vehicle that could provide more protection than a Humvee and be more maneuverable than the Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicle; Oshkosh Defense answered the call.

The 1st Marine Logistics Group received four Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected, All-Terrain Vehicles Nov. 9, to train more than 200 operators and mechanics on the newly welcomed piece of equipment to the Marine Corps arsenal.

The M-ATV is used for small-unit combat operations, delivering five combat ready Marines and sailors into highly restricted rural, mountainous and urban environments. This includes mounted patrols, reconnaissance, security, convoy protection, communications, command and control, and combat service support.

To include 1st MLG, units stationed at Camp Pendleton have a combined number of 12 M-ATVs and a Marine Corps total of 560. This vehicle is going to completely replace the Marine's Humvees in Afghanistan.

"The M-ATV will increase the survivability of Marines deployed overseas," said Staff Sgt. Amina T. Clay, 1st MLG licensing staff non-commissioned officer in charge. "It has more armor which provides better protection than Humvees."

According to Oshkosh Corporation, the M-ATV uses the same armor system used on more than 5,000 MRAPs and thousands of Oshkosh Armored Cab vehicles already in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Humvee replacement provides a V-shaped hull to deflect blast forces away from the crew in the case that the vehicle encounters mines or improvised explosive devices. The M-ATV can travel more places than other military vehicles previously could due to an increase of power and a higher ground clearance.

"The M-ATV allows Marines to go into different environments," said Clay, 29, from Chicago. "It can better handle Afghanistan terrain."

The M-ATV provides ground mobility capable of operating in a dangerous environment that protects service members and their allies from enemy ambushes where they employ small arms fire, rocket propelled grenades, mines and IED.

For service members to become qualified on the M-ATV, they must possess and maintain a valid Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected Vehicle and Humvee license. In addition, Marines and sailors must participate in a two-day course that consists of driving 50 miles on and off base, on and off road, and during daylight and darkness. All operators are also required to pass a written skills and road test.

With the M-ATV advancements, service members can conduct missions in more rigorous terrain with a lower risk of injury to themselves and their fellow Marines.
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