MTVR making its mark on first deployment, Kosovo

4 Oct 2002 | Sgt. Zachary A. Bathon

Whether its pulling stuck vehicles out the mud or moving supplies to Marines in hard-to-reach locations, the Marine Corps' new Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) seven-and-half-ton truck is definitely making an impact on its maiden deployment with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable).

The MTVR is being used as the replacement for the old 5-ton tuck and has so far passed the test with flying colors.

"We have taken that thing everywhere," said Dave M. David, Oshkosh field service representative and former Marine, attached to MEU Service Support Group 24. "So far, we have had no problems with it at all."

One of the main uses of the MTVR has been to deliver supplies to the Marines of the Battalion Landing Team. While this may sound simple enough to anyone who has never looked at a map of Kosovo, the rugged terrain and steep mountains make driving here very tough.

"I just finished a run that went through some pretty muddy areas," said Cpl. John L. Kennedy, MTVR driver and Conway, S.C. native. "The truck did good in the mud and on the steep hills. It has better power and suspension than the old 5-ton and I didn't even worry about getting stuck."

The MSSG-24 Marines have also used the new truck to pull other vehicles. Some needed to be towed back for maintenance and others were stuck in the Kosovo mud.

"The MTVR, which weighs roughly about 26,000 pounds when empty, pulled a German re-fueler truck that weighed about 70,000 pounds fully loaded out of the mud near the BLT's Administration and Logistics Center without ever losing traction," said David. "It was pretty impressive to pull a vehicle of that size out without ever slipping."

The MTVR drivers with the MSSG also agree the truck is an impressive machine. "I've never had a problem with the truck," said Lance Cpl. Justin Payne, driver and Covina, Calif. native. "It has a system built in that allows you to choose different settings for your load and the terrain that you're driving on. I just hit the right buttons and everything is smooth."

"This is a very strong and very reliable truck," said Capt. John Flemming, Transportation and Support Detachment commander and Columbus, Tx. native. "We have had no serious problems with any of the trucks. Mainly, the only maintenance we have had to do is just the scheduled maintenance that goes along with any vehicle and the preventive maintenance we perform on them."