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Soldiers say the JLTV drives like a dream. Army leaders think that's a problem
The Army's new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle offers the smoothest ride and the most creature comforts of any tactical vehicle they've driven before, soldiers told Task & Purpose. But officials say Army leadership is worried that its next-generation Humvee replacement might be too comfortable.
"For leadership, the ride is so smooth it brings its own concerns," 1st ABCT spokesman Maj. Pete Bogart told Task & Purpose. "My wife has a brand new Volkswagen Atlas, and it does so much for you, you often forget you're hurtling down the highway in a several-thousand-pound vehicle.
"Leadership wants soldiers to remember that they're in a tactical vehicle," he added, "not a Nissan Altima."
Several soldiers interviewed by Task & Purpose who have operated the JLTV as part of driver training uniformly praised the vehicle's relative comfort compared to much-despised Humvee.
"The suspension system is magnificent," Staff Sgt. Robert Sanders, a signal support systems specialist with the 1st ABCT, told Task & Purpose. "compared to the Humvee, it's like night and day."
"When you hit a bump in the JLTV, you feel it," Spc. Donald Vargas, a combat engineer, told Task & Purpose, "But when you hit a bump in the Humvee, you really feel it."
Sanders described the transition from hardball road to tank trails during driver training at Fort Stewart. In the Humvee, he said, drivers normally have to slow "to a crawl" when they approach at 12-15 inch washout; in the JLTV, he was instructed to keep his foot on the accelerator.
"We took it between 35 and 40 miles per hour," he said. "[The JLTV] took it like it was nothing."
Vargas concurred: "It's by far the smoothest ride of any wheeled vehicle I've operated."
So far, 1st ABCT soldiers have yet to deploy their JLTVs for field exercises, focusing primarily on driver training and user feedback during the initial fielding. According to Bogart, upcoming training with their fellow soldiers in the 2nd ABCT will give them the chance to get a better feel for the vehicle.
"The vehicles are better on your back and better for operability, which is good for our mission," Bogart said. "But just because you don't feel the bumps doesn't mean the trailer you're hauling won't. You go over a 14- or 18-inch washout, the trailer still feels it."
On the upside, soldiers will still be able to enjoy some other creature comforts that eclipse the Humvee without leadership worrying about their tactical focus.
"I have a place for my coffee," Sanders said. "The seats are more adjustable than the Humvee ... there's even a cut-out in seats for when you're wearing body armor or a CamelBak. That makes it a far more comfortable ride."
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The former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs thinks that the VA needs to start researching medical marijuana. Not in a bit. Not soon. Right goddamn now.
US and Turkey agree on temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from northeast Syria
The United States and Turkey have agreed to a temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a safe zone that Turkey is establishing along its border with Syria, Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday.
They started the US war against ISIS. Now they have an important message for Trump on abandoning the Kurds
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Trump's recent decisions in northern Syria were ill-advised, strategically unsound, and morally shameful. In rapidly withdrawing U.S. presence and allowing a Turk offensive into Syria, we have left the Syrian Kurds behind, created a power vacuum for our adversaries to fill, and set the stage for the resurgence of ISIS.
After preliminary fitness test scores leaked in September, many have voiced concerns about how women would fare in the new Army Combat Fitness Test.
The scores — which accounted for 11 of the 63 battalions that the ACFT was tested on last year — showed an overall failure rate of 84% for women, and a 70% pass rate for men.
But Army leaders aren't concerned about this in the slightest.
More than 74 years after Marines raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, the Marine Corps has announced that one of men in the most famous picture of World War II had been misidentified.