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New M-ATV training requirements keeps Marines safe, ready

US Marine Corps News

2/18/2011 By Lance Cpl. Tyler C. Vernaza, Marine Corps Bases Japan

CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan — Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, received training on the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicle at the III MEF Motor Transportation Training and Simulation Center Feb. 11, in preparation for an upcoming deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Throughout the week the Marines spent numerous hours in the classroom, learning about the M-ATV. Lessons included characteristics and nomenclature of the vehicle, rollover and egress procedures and day and night operations.
“Getting Marines trained is our top priority,” said Staff Sgt. James Turner, division licensing staff noncommissioned officer at III MEF Motor Transportation Training and Simulation Center. “Our instructors put in a lot of hours to get each Marine licensed and confident with the vehicles.”

Before receiving their licenses, each Marine individually accumulated 125 hours of driving time with the M-ATV, including on-base, off-base, on-road, off-road and day and night driving.

On the last day of training, the Marines took a written test, along with a driving test that graded smooth stopping, backing, and gauging spaces. During the driving portion, instructors quizzed the students on their overall knowledge of the vehicle while requiring them to remain focused.

“It’s important that Marines become familiar with this piece of equipment,” said Billy Darter, field service representative with Oshkosh Defense. “This vehicle is one of the better-made tactical vehicles the military uses.”

The M-ATV has significant off-road ability that allows Marines to alter their routes, which can reduce operational predictability. Because the frame of the vehicle is held together by a series of bolts, the vehicle can be easily repaired after being hit by most types of improvised explosive devices.

“This truck is by far my favorite of the tactical vehicles I’ve driven. It has a lot of great safety features and its speed gives it the upper hand,” said Lance Cpl. Christian Greenough, motor transportation mechanic with 3rd Recon. Bn.

The safety features of this truck provides optimal survivability and mobility in a variety of combat operations that help Marines stay in the fight and come home safe, according to Darter.

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