Soldiers with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart in Georgia received the first of its 500 JLTVs on Jan. 14.
A few days later, a photo surfaced on U.S. Army WTF! Moments showing what appeared to be one of the Raider Brigaide's brand new vehicles on its side in the aftermath of a rollover, hood open and parts spilling onto the pavement.
Luckily, nobody was injured in the rollover, which occurred during Operator New Equipment Training on the tank trails at Fort Stewart, 1st ABCT public affairs officer Maj. Pete Bogart told Task & Purpose on Tuesday.
Even better: the JLTV involved in the rollover doesn't even belong to the 1st ABCT. According to Bogart, it's a loaner vehicle from Oshkosh sent to Fort Stewart along with the ABCT's current fleet of 8-10 JLTVs explicitly for master drivers and senior NCOs to get a feel for it.
“They handle differently than the Humvee, and they handle differently than the MRAP,” Bogart said. “There's a level of finding our comfort zones in driving because it's not something we've ever handled before.”
Master drivers are currently going through two 40-hour courses spread over five days before the JLTV is fielded on the unit level around the beginning of February, Bogart said. And so far, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
“The main comment is how smooth the ride is,” Bogart said. “When you're hitting bumps, it feels more like a passenger car. .. are blown away by how smooth it is.”
“It's really exciting to be the first to try out ,” he added. “I came into the Army in 2001, and all we've ever had was Humvees. Our guys are excited for it, the maintenance and training guys are excited for it … we're all excited.”
Beyond the Army, the Marine Corps planned on fielding 69 JLTVs to an infantry battalion with II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. God knows how many of those will survive their first week.