NORFOLK, Va. --- Marines from 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines based out of Camp Lejune, North Carolina, transported three configurations of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) to the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) for a load test August 27.
The JLTV will begin replacing the Humvee as one of the U.S. Marine Corps’ and U.S. Army’s primary tactical personnel vehicles said Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer Jose Alvarez, the combat cargo officer aboard Kearsarge. Alvarez said for the Marine Corps, the load test signifies a step closer to fleet implementation.
The JLTV has two variants, the four-seat combat tactical vehicle (CTV) and the two-seat combat support vehicle (CSV). The CTV has three mission configurations: general purpose, heavy gun carrier, and close combat weapons carrier. The CSV supports the utility/shelter carrier mission.
Marines from 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines tested a heavy gun carrier CTV, close combat weapons carrier CTV, and a utility/shelter carrier CSV aboard Kearsarge for fit and maneuverability within a LHD class ship said Alvarez.
“We’ll be replacing Humvee’s one for one with JLTVs,” said Gunnery Sgt. Randy Ballarmstrong from 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines. “The Humvee is almost 20 years old, and needs to be replaced. The JLTV has better capabilities, technologies, and troubleshooting. It’s faster, bigger, and can go through almost anything.”
The primary difference between the JLTV and Humvee is the armor capabilities, said Hal Roby, the test project officer for amphibious demonstrations at Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity. “The armor is built into the vehicle unlike the Humvees where it’s added on. The under armor and the armor wrapped around the JLTV is much stronger and more capable to withstand IEDs and other attacks.”
Following the load test aboard Kearsarge in the morning, the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines spent the afternoon performing an additional load test aboard the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24).
Kearsarge is currently conducting a post-deployment maintenance availability following a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.