WALKER, Mich. - Two Army Reserve companies in Michigan became the first units to be equipped with the new M915A5 line-haul tractor truck in a ceremony Sept. 29.
The 180th & 182nd Transportation Companies of the 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Reserve, each received 60 of the new trucks. The new M915A5 tractor truck is designed to be the "prime-mover" for the Army's fleet of semi-trailers and fuel tankers.
The new trucks feature increased survivability, added situational awareness and improved Soldier comfort through various structural and performance enhancements, officials said.
During the ceremony, Col. David Bassett, project manager for Tactical Vehicles, addressed how the M915A5 is the first to be designed with a fully scalable and integrated armor protection package, meaning the vehicle comes off the production line equipped with "A-Kit" armor components and built-in mounting provisions for the "B-Kit."
"These trucks are special," said Bassett. "They feature the ability to accept additional armor as missions dictate. The trucks are manufactured with the 'A-Kit' for peacetime and humanitarian operations, and the 'B-Kit' armor can be easily added to provide Soldiers with 360-degree protection during combat operations."
The ceremony was also attended by members of the Army's Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support, or PEO CS&CSS, and many others.
Brig. Gen. Frank Cipolla, the deputy commander of the 88th Regional Support Command, explained that the technical and tactical proficiency of the two Army Reserve companies made them ideal units to be first equipped with this new truck. The M915A5 will replace older trucks, bringing Soldiers better armor, increased survivability - and more comfort, he said.
"We are very proud to accept these trucks," Cipolla said. "Our Soldiers deserve them. We are an operational Reserve, trained, equipped, and employed at levels with the active Army."
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Ten Brink, commander of the 180th Transportation Company, described the importance of leaving a unit better than when receiving it.
"I can't think of a better gift than these trucks as I ... deploy to Afghanistan," said Ten Brink.
Designed and made in America by Daimler Truck North America, the new M915A5 incorporates a 500-horsepower engine, an enhanced axle and suspension system, two fuel tanks which increase mission range, and additional interior cab space to provide comfort and space for Soldiers and their equipment.
"The advanced creature comfort is wonderful ... from heated mirrors to improved suspension and space - the Soldiers are ecstatic to be receiving new equipment. It is a great booster to morale," added Ten Brink.
In August the Product Manager for Heavy Tactical Vehicles, which falls under the leadership of the Project Manager for Tactical Vehicles, PEO CS&CSS, obtained Full Material Release approval for the M915A5, with the direction for the first 710 vehicles to be fielded to the Army Reserve.
The fielding of the M915A5 will permit the Army to replace many of the older, aging M915-series tractor trucks currently in use.
"We could not do our mission without you, and these trucks enhance our ability both in peacetime and at war" added Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael Miller, commander of the 182nd Transportation Company. "We are honored to be the first unit equipped."
"This ceremony is proof of what we knew all along...the Army doesn't roll without the Army Reserve," added Cipolla.
(Maj. Corey Schultz is a public affairs officer for the U.S. Army Reserve. Ashley John provides strategic communications for PEO CS&CSS.)