CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Program Executive Officer Land Systems is equipping the Marine Corps’ first infantry battalion — 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division — with the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, and U.S. Navy and Marine leadership visited to witness the event.
“I am very proud of the Joint Marine Corps and Army team whose mission-first approach and close interaction with the end user has delivered our Marine operators the JLTV,” said James Geurts, assistant Navy secretary for research, development and Acquisition. “The fielding of these JLTVs provides our Marines the light tactical vehicle capability needed to compete and win on the modern battlefield.”
Joining Geurts for the July 18 tour at Camp Lejeune of the II Marine Expeditionary Force JLTV fielding site were: Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Gary Thomas; Lt. Gen. Charles Chiarotti, deputy commandant for installations and logistics; II Marine Expeditionary Force Commander Lt. Gen. Brian Beaudreault; Michael Stewart, deputy director for integrated warfare; John Garner, program executive officer, Land Systems; and Marine Corps Systems Command Brig. Gen. Arthur Pasagian.
The JLTV family of vehicles is made up of four different variants: the utility variant; general purpose vehicle; heavy guns carrier; and close combat weapons carrier. All variants include multiple mission package configurations and provide protected, sustained and networked mobility that balances payload, performance and protection across the full range of military operations.
Col. Farrell Sullivan, chief of staff, 2nd Marine Division, spoke to Geurts on behalf of the operating forces.
“I think the battalion, like most battalions, are eager to get these out into the field,” Sullivan said. “We’re excited about the additional capability [the JLTV] brings and also for its ability to get Marines to where they need to be.”
Geurts, Thomas, Chiarotti and Beaudreault then had the opportunity to speak to the Marines of 3/8 operating forces while taking a closer look at the vehicle.
Of the event, Geurts said, “It was an honor to hear directly from the Marines operating these vehicles about how much of a capability leap it presents over their aging legacy vehicles and the many ideas they have on how to leverage them to enable new methods of mobility and expeditionary operations for the future fight.”
The Marine Corps is planning to field 15,390 JLTVs, replacing all High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles in the Corps’ legacy fleet in a one-for-one swap. PEO Land Systems began delivery of the JLTV in February to the Corps’ schools of infantry and other supporting units. The Light Tactical Vehicle program office at PEO Land Systems will begin fielding the JLTV to First and Third Marine Division units by the end of September.