FRIDAY FOTO (December 13, 2019)

December 13, 2019 at 11:27 pm Leave a comment

Stick in the Mud.

Truck Company Field Exercise

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Dylan Hess)

Even in an era of satellite communications, radar evading stealth fighter jets and artificial intelligence, some times the most effective tool is a man with a shovel.

Marines clear mud from a stuck High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)  — probably better known as a Humvee — during a field exercise at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan on December 11, 2019. (See photo below)

Starting in 1983, the AM General Humvee family of light, four-wheel drive, military trucks and utility vehicles began replacing the Vietnam-era jeep, the latest version of an off-road vehicle first manufactured in World War II.

Although they were designed without armor for traveling back and forth at the rear in a combat zone, Humvees first saw combat in Operation Just Cause, the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989. They saw even more action in Somalia, the Balkans and the Gulf War in the 1990s. However, without armor, both vehicles and crews suffered considerable damage and losses during the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993.  Subsequent versions of the HMMWV were built with armor and bullet proof windows that could withstand small arms fire.

But the still lightly armored, Cold War-era Humvee could not protect troops from powerful, homemade bombs – known as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) – the enemy used in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military replaced many Humvees with heavy-duty vehicles called MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) designed with specialized undersides to withstand IEDs. But the MRAPS were slow, top-heavy and had limited capability off-road and on narrow urban streets.

After an 11-year search and development program headed by the Army, both services picked Oshkosh Trucks to build the Humvee and MRAP replacement, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).  It is bigger, better armored and more comfortable than the Humvee.

The Marine Corps declared the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle officially ready in August to deploy and support the naval expeditionary forces worldwide. The Army did so a few months earlier. However, due to shifting budget priorities and other factors, the full replacement of all HMMWVs is expected to take years.

Truck Company Field Exercise

This is how it’s supposed to look when Marines drive a Humvee through the mud at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, on December 11, 2019.

Entry filed under: Army, FRIDAY FOTO, Marine Corps, National Security and Defense, Photos, Skills and Training, Technology, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: , , , , , , .

Droids, Drones & ‘bots: Lost U.S. Drone; French Drone-Equipped Patrol Boats; Russian Armed Robots FRIDAY FOTO (December 20, 2019)

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