Magazine article National Defense

Marine Off-the-Shelf, Light-Truck Program Defies Bureaucracy

Magazine article National Defense

Marine Off-the-Shelf, Light-Truck Program Defies Bureaucracy

Article excerpt

Seeking more mobility and flexibility to run in rugged terrain, the Marine Corps is funding two light truck programs aimed to fulfill these needs.

To meet short-term needs, the Corps is purchasing 62 Mercedes Benz G-series wagons. These are six-seat, long-bed versions of the commercial vehicle and feature a universal weapon mount, said Col. William D. Johnson, director of combat support and logistics systems, Marine Corps Systems Command.

The first 14 have been deployed with a Marine expeditionary unit, Johnson said during a recent conference on tactical vehicles in Monterey, Calif. "In six months, we will have an operational capability fielded."

The trucks can be transported on the CH53, CH46 helicopters, as well as the V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft. "That's a tough challenge," said Johnson, because the V-22 was not designed to carry vehicles. That means the trucks must be configured to fit a V-22, he added. "We are not going to change the V-22 now that it's in production. …

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