News: Marines with 2nd LAR float tests Light Armored Vehicles
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines with 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion tested the amphibious capabilities of 10 Light Armored Vehicles at Mile Hammock Bay, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 26, 2014.
The training’s main goal was to test the vehicles’ ability to swim for short distances with a full combat load.
The Marines used specially designed ballasts to add weight to the vehicles and simulate the extra weight of Marines, their gear and ammunition,. Ballasts are only used during training exercises to measure how much extra weight each vehicle can carry. One LAV- Logistics Vehicle (LAVL) and three LAV-25’s tested their swimming capabilities after the float test.
The Bravo Company Executive Officer, 1st Lt. Joshua C. Bookwalter from Manassas, Va., said, “As an LAR unit, we are tasked to do some form of long distance reconnaissance, and our ability to cross rivers, if there is no bridge, allows us to continue our mission without being held up on any kind of terrain feature.”
Not only was the goal accomplished to stay afloat and swim the vehicles, but the exercise also helped 2nd LAR Marines gain confidence by giving them hands-on experience. For most of the Marines, this event was the first swim-op they have participated in. It’s also the first time 2nd LAR has put LAV-25’s in the water since 2010.
Bookwalter said in the past, LAV-25’s have sunk because procedures in the water were not properly conducted. Testing the vehicles not only ensures they are intact, but it allows Marines to practice proper procedures and safety techniques.
Some examples of safety techniques the Marines conducted include making sure hole plugs in the bottom of the vehicle are properly sealed, greased, and have good suction; and making sure the propellers in the back are capable of working properly, said Bookwalter.
Sgt. Matthew Clark, a Baltimore native and vehicle commander with 2nd LAR said he believes a vehicle commander should know every aspect of the vehicle. It is his responsibility to make sure his Marines do their job properly. Since it is the first time 2nd LAR has tested the LAV-25’s in four years, it was an awesome opportunity to build confidence in his Marines, as well as himself.
All 10 LAV-25’s proved they are combat worthy. They can perform well with extra weight, and can be trusted to take on the challenges brought forth by all terrain features. The training exercise also proved that 2nd LAR Marines, like Sgt. Clark, are ready and confident in their ability to perform the procedures deemed necessary to ensure success in future missions .