Browsing: Vehicles

During my last few days in Afghanistan, I got a behind-the-scenes look at a “dress rehearsal” for a large-scale training exercise the Afghan National Army’s 215th Corps was planning at Camp Shorabak in Helmand province to showcase the Corps’ military training and enhance interoperability. The scale of the exercise was pretty impressive: it involved hundreds of Afghan soldiers, two of the 215th Corps’ Mi-17 helicopters, and over a dozen M1117 armored vehicles, plus Humvees and trucks. The M1117, used by the U.S. Army’s military police corps and the Army National Guard, has less armored protection than the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle,…

The Marine Corps’ annual exposition of gear, weapons and vehicles kicks off today at Quantico, Va. It is expected to draw thousands of Marines and civilians from across the country, with a special emphasis on what industry is producing for the Corps. Marine Corps Times prepared for the expo by producing its annual State of the Marine Corps issue. Out on newsstands this week, it leverages insight from 15 general officers to paint a picture of where life stands in the Corps. If you’re on base and looking, you’ll find it available at the expo. Highlights of the event include…

The Marine Corps may have drawn down its forces in Afghanistan to less than 7,000 personnel this year, but they continue to run daring operations with the elite troops they have left. One of the latest examples is Operation Helmand Viper, a muscular effort to strike Taliban fighters in Zamindawar, a violent region between Musa Qala and Kajaki districts that we’ve covered several times on Battle Rattle this year. As this new Marine Corps news release points out, tanks with Bravo Company, 2nd Tank Battalion, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., rolled in support of special operators Oct. 19 to 27,…

Last week, I traveled to Lothian, Md., with Senior Video Journalist Colin Kelly to visit the home of Cevon McLean, the owner of a rare 1965 Vietnam-era Bell Huey. McLean is selling his war-time collectible on Craigslist for $175,000. Fully stocked with gun mounts, ammo cans, and 2.75 rocket pods, the purchasing price also includes a trailer to tow the UH-1E away. McLean said he’s used Craigslist in the past to sell other pieces of equipment, but admits he doesn’t do it very often. “This is definitely the most unique item I’ve put on there,” McLean said. To find out more,…

This photo makes the Hell’s Angels look about as threatening as a litter of kittens. Those are Marine special operators in Afghanistan, looking like something akin to a well-organized motorcycle gang. The photo is courtesy of former Staff Sgt. Michael Golembesky, who spent two years with Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, serving as a joint terminal attack controller. As Marine Corps Times first reported back in March, MARSOC teams use these small-engine bikes to get around in the Afghan mountains. Before some units deploy, the command sends them through a super-sensitive training program that provides five days of schooling…

So, how’s your day going? Good? Glad to hear it. Perhaps it will be improved knowing that Marines in the violent northern section of Helmand province, Afghanistan, now have tank support. The Marine Corps just released this Feb. 1 photograph of Marines in an M1A1 Abrams rolling north through the desert on the way to Forward Operating Base Edinburg, an outpost manned by 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. The tanks are manned by Delta Company, 1st Tank Battalion, out of Twentynine Palms, Calif., the first American unit to operate tanks in Afghanistan. Lejeune’s Combat Logistics Battalion…

With ringing endorsements from the Pentagon’s top leader and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos to kill the program, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle’s fate is close to being sealed. But the EFV remains a contentious issue as big defense contractor General Dynamics continues with its push to save the program, with some help from congressional members who say nixing the EFV is akin to killing the Marine Corps itself. Beating the drum is Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-Calif., an Iraq veteran who now represents California’s 52nd district. In recent weeks, Hunter has taken his pro-EFV argument to various newspaper op-ed…

Somewhat lost in the death of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program is another thread: The Marine Corps is building a case to move up development of a new vehicle known as the Marine Personnel Carrier. In the wake of the multibillion dollar program’s cancellation last week, the service plans to push three separate projects along with new requests to industry by the end of the month, said Lt. Gen. George Flynn, deputy commandant for combat development and integration. Intuitively, two of them make sense following the death of the EFV, which had been viewed as a high-tech replacement for the…

The Marine Corps received its first upgraded command and control variant Light Armored Vehicle on Aug. 10. The upgraded version is capable of, “providing advanced communication capabilities to Marines in the field, improving their battlefield knowledge and situational awareness,” according to Lockheed Martin. The Marine Corps provided the company with the outmoded LAV C2s for upgrade as part of a 2009 contract. Over the next two years, 50 more are slated for deliver. The Corps’ entire LAV fleet, not just C2 variants, is undergoing an overhaul. The vehicles, which have been in service since the 1980s, are being made lighter…

MARJAH, Afghanistan — It has been a busy day or three here in Afghanistan, but I wanted to take a minute to share Tom Brown’s video footage of the aftermath of an improvised explosive device attack Saturday on a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected All-Terrain Vehicle in our convoy. As you can see, the vehicle sustained significant damage. We were trailing the hit vehicle by about the length of a city block, but could see smoke, dust and small pieces of metal rocket into the air: [HTML1] Important footnote: All five Marines in this vehicle survived, and only one experienced concussion symptoms.

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