FORT LEE, Va. - One of the Army’s newest fighting machines has made its way to Fort Lee.
Seven copies of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle arrived here three months ago and will be used for instructional purposes at several CASCOM schoolhouses. They are part of the initial production contract of nearly 17,000 that will be manufactured by Oshkosh Defense for the Army, Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command.
The JLTV, a complement and replacement for the Humvee, is generally more capable of than the 1980s-era all-purpose vehicle, said Sgt. 1st Class Cory Riddle, an instructor with the Ordnance School’s Wheel Maintenance Training Department.
“From my perspective, the Humvee is a great vehicle, but it is limited on what it can do because of its suspension and frame type,” he said. “The JLTV is well-thought-out. It’s designed to be a modular system so it can be adapted to any mission.”
The JLTV, which was initially fielded by the Army earlier this year, is not yet part of a program of instruction for 91B wheeled vehicle repairer advanced individual training students. Riddle said it will take up to a year to include it.
“We have started with familiarizations for the students,” he said. “Once the course developers at CASCOM finalize the (program of instruction) for this piece of equipment, that’s when we will start instructing it.”
For now, students will learn what they need from units in the field that have been equipped with the vehicle.
The extended turnaround time for inclusion in POIs is partly due to the unique aspects of maintenance and operational procedures associated with the JLTV, Riddle said. The additional piece of instruction will not lengthen the 14-week Wheeled Vehicle Repairer Course, he also noted, because the course uses a Skills-Based Training technique largely emphasizing a systems approach to learning rather than specific vehicle instruction.
“Anything relating to the Humvee in the POI will be removed and replaced with the JLTV,” Riddle said more succinctly.
The Humvee, in production since 1985, met requirements for a Cold War-era replacement of the M151 jeep but was not without vulnerabilities that were revealed with contemporary warfare, particularly in the area of armament. The JLTV provides better protection and more versatility, Riddle said.
“It handles various terrains much better than the Humvee, and it can haul much heavier loads,” he elaborated. “The armor is what we really needed. The Humvee was maxed out with its up-armor modifications. The JLTV’s armor is way better.”
The Humvee was designed as a utility vehicle, but the JLTV was built from ground up as an armored system, Riddle further explained.
WMTD received its JLTV two weeks ago. It is not scheduled to receive any additional vehicles. The department has begun purchasing training aids relating to engines and other vehicle systems.
The other JLTVs received here are being used for noncommissioned officer, officer and warrant officer courses.
More than 3,000 JLTVs have been produced for the Army thus far. More than 49,000 are expected to be fielded by 2040.