By Capt. Juan C. LagoJanuary 16, 2008
National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. - Brand new, aligned one after the other in a seemingly endless row, the Army's current Up Armored HMMWV's (UAH) have finally made their way to the Army's premier warfighting training center, the National Training Center (NTC).
The new M1151A1 HMMWV, with Fragmentation Kit 5 (FK5) and Objective Gunner's protection Kit (OGPK) is currently being fielded in the United States for CONUS units to train before heading to a combat zone where over 20,000 UAH's dominate the battlefield. Product Manager Light Tactical Vehicles (PM LTV) is responsible for the fieldings and manages the Army's entire inventory of HMMWV's, ensuring its sustainment from "cradle to grave". CONUS based Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines will be able to train as they fight using the actual vehicles they will be using in theater. Being the premier warfightng center, the NTC is receiving over 90 M1151A1s with FK5 and OGPK to keep them in line with current trends and equipment being used on the battlefield.
"Units will now be training up instead of down," said Col. Paul Hurley, Commander of the NTC Support Brigade, who's unit is responsible for maintaining the newly arrived equipment, as well as training units visiting NTC on current and emerging trends.
The mission of the NTC is to provide tough, realistic, joint and combined arms training in multi-national venues across the full spectrum of conflict set in a contemporary operating environment to assist Commanders in developing trained, competent leaders and Soldiers by presenting them with current real-time scenarios to improve the force and prepare for success in the Global War on Terrorism and future joint battlefields.
"We are providing Soldiers with great capabilities and giving them first rate equipment. Soldiers will now be able to train as they fight using the same equipment they will fall into in theater," said Col. Hurley.
The M1151A1 with FK5 and OGPK is not your father's HMMWV of the 80's. It is the Army's most recent addition to the UAH fleet, providing IED blast protection and small arms protection, while adding all the latest safety enhancements, to include the Gunners Restraint System (GRS), the 3-point seatbelt, the vehicular intercom systems (VIC-3) and the Fire Suppression System (FSS). Additionally, the M1151A1s are being fielded with the new Objective Gunners Protective Kit, which provides the capability for the gunner to view the battlefield without compromising safety thru the factory installed Transparent Armored Glass.
"Our goal is to provide the NTC and other training sites with the most updated, reliable and maintainable equipment. These vehicles provide a great deal of protection allowing Soldiers to focus on mission accomplishment here at the training sites. Training on this equipment before deployment gives Soldiers confidence in their equipment when deployed on the battlefield." said Lt. Col. Samuel Homsy, Product Manager for Light Tactical Vehicles.
During the M1151 handover, the NTC Support Brigade, Soldiers are given extensive training on how to operate, drive and maintain the vehicles. The New Equipment Training Team (NETT) conducts a train-the-trainer class to Soldiers and maintainers, instructing them on the capabilities of the M1151 along with how to maintain the new armored HMMWV.
"They are top-of-the-line trucks," said Col. Hurley. "I'm glad we have them." The UAH's are designed to be both safe and effective for Soldiers conducting patrols, convoy security and missions throughout battlefield. As more UAH's arrive at CONUS training sites, they continue to play a vital role in training our Warfighters to conduct full spectrum operations.
(Capt. Juan Carlos Lago serves as the Assistant Product Manager for the M1151.)