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Testing Marine Corps New ACV's Integration With Naval Shipping
by U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Drake Nickels
February 7, 2020

U.S. Marines with Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, with the assistance from the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25), tested the Marine Corps’ new Amphibious Combat Vehicle off the shore of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California in  January 2020.

January 29, 2020 - A U.S. Marine with the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, watches from an open hatch as an Amphibious Combat Vehicle is maneuvered into the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) as part of the vehicle’s developmental testing off the shore of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California The Marines of AVTB are currently testing the Marine Corps’ newest amphibious vehicle, which will replace the current Amphibious Assault Vehicle. The testing consisted of entering and departing a naval vessel to assess and verify how well the ACV can integrate with naval shipping. This was the first time Marines have operated the new vehicle while boarding and departing a ship. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Drake Nickels)
January 29, 2020 - A U.S. Marine with the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, watches from an open hatch as an Amphibious Combat Vehicle is maneuvered into the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) as part of the vehicle’s developmental testing off the shore of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California The Marines of AVTB are currently testing the Marine Corps’ newest amphibious vehicle, which will replace the current Amphibious Assault Vehicle. The testing consisted of entering and departing a naval vessel to assess and verify how well the ACV can integrate with naval shipping. This was the first time Marines have operated the new vehicle while boarding and departing a ship. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Drake Nickels)

The testing was the first time Marines have taken the ACV on and off of a naval vessel through the well deck, assessing and verifying the vehicle’s ability to integrate with naval shipping.

“AVTB has been conducting testing with the ACV for approximately three years,” said U.S. Marine Maj. Justin Davis, the deputy director of AVTB. “As we look to replace the legacy platform (Amphibious Assault Vehicle), it goes without saying the ACV needs to do exactly what the AAV does.”

The multi-day test consisted of embarking and debarking the naval vessel and multiple on-ship operations. The Marines conducted the embarking and debarking operations while the ship was moving at various speeds and with the ACV’s configured at different weights. While inside the ship, the Marines tested the ACV’s towing, pushing and pulling capabilities.

January 29, 2020 - An Amphibious Combat Vehicle with the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, prepares to enter the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) as part of the vehicle’s developmental testing off the shore of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Drake Nickels)
January 29, 2020 - An Amphibious Combat Vehicle with the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, prepares to enter the amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) as part of the vehicle’s developmental testing off the shore of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Drake Nickels)

“It's good to see these changes happening within the amphibious community,” said Sgt. Nicholas Vickers, a vehicle commander with AVTB. “We are setting the standard operating procedures for these vehicles so when they hit the Fleet Marine Force, there is a smooth transition.”

The ACV has proven in its testing to bring enhanced lethality, survivability and maneuverability compared to the AAV. The AVTB’s role in testing the ACVs in their developmental stage is essential to pass on to the operating forces for when it is fielded. Performing successful ship to shore operations takes the ACV one step closer to securing a spot in Marine Corps history.

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