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The Army's New JLTV Is An Even Bigger Maintenance Nightmare Than The Humvee It Was Supposed To Replace
The Army's newly-fielded Joint Light Tactical Vehicle was supposed to be a worthy successor to the Humvees that so many veterans derided as "death traps" during the Global War on Terror, an up-armored modular infantry vehicle bristling with weapons.
But according to a Pentagon report, the new vehicles may prove as much of a headache for soldiers than vehicle it sought to replace.
The latest assessment of JLTV the Pentagon's operational testing and evaluation arm released on Thursday indicates that the Army's current vehicles "are not operationally suitable because of deficiencies in reliability, maintainability, training, manuals, crew situational awareness, and safety."
The reliability issues seem relatively pedestrian, ranging from flat tired to faulty engine wiring. But those issues could prove especially problematic during operations downrange for a simple reason: units "cannot maintain the JLTV without support from the contractor field service representatives due to vehicle complexity, ineffective training, poor manuals, and challenges with troubleshooting the vehicle."
Translation: Nobody knows how the fix the damn things except for Oshkosh customer service reps.
As result, the JLTV "will require more maintenance that the [Humvee] based on the maintenance ratio demonstrated in the MOT&E," per the Pentagon evaluation — a troubling revelation given that the JLTV was purportedly designed to not only withstand the IED attacks that proved problematic for the Humvee, but also do to so with less time in the garage.
This isn't to say that the JLTV is a complete disaster. The Pentagon evaluation concluded that the JLTVs are overall "operationally effective" for combat and tactical missions, providing sufficient capabilities for tactical mobility over complex terrain and delivering both lethal and suppressive fire against enemy targets. But the maintenance issues may end up crimping how many of the vehicles are actually available for such operations.
It's unclear how these maintenance issues have played out with the first batch of JLTVs the Army began fielding earlier this year. A spokesman for the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart in Georgia that received (and already broke) the first of its 500 JLTVs on Jan. 14 told Task & Purpose that the vehicles are only now fielding to the battalion level.
But one thing is clear, though: If you're rolling into combat, the last thing you're going to want is to call a customer service rep to make on-the-fly repairs.
WATCH NEXT: Meet The JLTV
The top leaders of a Japan-based Marine Corps F/A-18D Hornet squadron were fired after an investigation into a deadly mid-air collision last December found that poor training and an "unprofessional command climate" contributed to the crash that left six Marines dead, officials announced on Monday.
Five Marines aboard a KC-130J Super Hercules and one Marine onboard an F/A-18D Hornet were killed in the Dec. 6, 2018 collision that took place about 200 miles off the Japanese coast. Another Marine aviator who was in the Hornet survived.
The Department of Veterans Affairs released an alarming report Friday showing that at least 60,000 veterans died by suicide between 2008 and 2017, with little sign that the crisis is abating despite suicide prevention being the VA's top priority.
Although the total population of veterans declined by 18% during that span of years, more than 6,000 veterans died by suicide annually, according to the VA's 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he discussed Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son in a call with Ukraine's president.
Trump's statement to reporters about his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky came as the Democratic leader of a key congressional panel said the pursuit of Trump's impeachment may be the "only remedy" to the situation.
The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.
The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.
The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.
Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.
Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.
Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.