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    The ACV Through an AAV Crewman’s Eyes

    Delta Company, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion takes part in Integrated MOUT Training during ITX

    Photo By Cpl. Jamin Powell | U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Gaven Sack, an assault amphibious vehicle operator with...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Jamin Powell 

    1st Marine Division

    MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. (April 5, 2021) -- “Being an ACV crewman is at the root of what the Marine Corps is,” Lance Cpl. Gaven Sack said. “It encompasses a lot of things, on land and in the water.”
    Sack, an Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV) crewmember with Co. D, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division, is part of the only military unit that has tested and fielded the new Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) to date.
    The ACV is an eight-wheel drive, armored vehicle with open-ocean amphibious capabilities and land mobility. It’s a unique combination of previously fielded amphibious vehicles and new technological advances to the fleet’s amphibious capabilities.
    For Sack, the desire to operate the ACV began before he joined the Marine Corps. “I worked in concrete before I joined and I talked to one of the truck drivers at a job site I was on, who was formerly a Marine. I told him I was working on joining and he told me he was an 1833 tracker [AAV crewmember].” After that conversation, Sack said being a tracker interested him. AAV crewmen are nicknamed ‘trackers’ due to the first iterations of these vehicles, developed around 1935, having tracks instead of the wheels they have today.
    “I’m from Grand Rapids, Minnesota, born and raised,” he said. “You know, as a kid I played army and always dreamed of being in the military … I never thought I would get to be a part of something this big.”
    Marines with Co. D were the first to get their hands on a prototype of this vehicle. The senior members of this unit were able to use the knowledge they gained from years of operating AAVs to provide feedback so the ACVs could better fit the needs of the Marine Corps.
    While he was in training for his job, Sack got to see the ACVs as they were in the testing phase. According to Sack, he learned how to be an effective crew member in an AAV and did not get to experience the ACV until November 2020, when he was trained by other Marines in Co. D on how to operate the vehicles properly.
    “The last few exercises I have done with these vehicles have really proven to me how effective they really are,” Sack explained. “They’re lethal, they’re fast, they’re armored, they’re easily camouflaged and they are just, all around, a great vehicle.”
    The vehicle itself has aided in the interaction between the crewmembers and the Marines they transport, Sack said.
    “Honestly, I think these benefit not only the track crews that operate them, but also all the Marines we transport by providing comfort, security and a lot of armor,” he expressed while he relaxed in one of the rear seats of the ACV. “I haven’t had a single unit of Marines get on and off this vehicle with any complaints. I think that so far, from what I have seen, the infantry units have done a great job of learning the vehicle, its capabilities and employing the vehicles to best support them.”
    “I am excited to see these vehicles get fielded throughout the rest of the Marine Corps. I think it will benefit the Marine Corps overall in a big way,” Sack said.



    Date Taken: 04.05.2021
    Date Posted: 04.15.2021 19:36
    Story ID: 393987
    Hometown: GRAND RAPIDS, MN, US

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