Photo Information

Cpl. Jean Satune, a Motor Transport wrecker operator with 2nd Maintenance Battalion, prepares a disabled vehicle to be turned upright using the new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected recovery vehicle during a training simulation on Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 26. Satune, a Brooklyn, New York native, and another Marine received almost two weeks of classroom and practical application training to familiarize them with the MVR. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Katherine M. Solano)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Katherine M. Solano

With improved vehicles comes advanced training, saved lives

4 May 2011 | Lance Cpl. Kathernie M. Solano

Motor transport Marines trained on the Marine Corps’ newest Mine Resistant Ambush Protected recovery vehicle on Camp Leatherneck, Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 26.

The training, lasting just under two weeks, is a United States Forces-Afghanistan led program. The international MaxxPro brand vehicle is designed by American company Navistar Defense, who also provides the exclusive training to Marines qualified as Motor-T wrecker operators.

Fifteen classes, including booming, rigging and winching fundamentals, were covered in the first week. Controls and indicators along with safety, caution and warnings, are a few of the other extensive classes taught prior to the practical application portion.

Advances in the new recovery vehicle include an underlift that can spin, tilt, and hook up to a disabled vehicle.

“No other truck can do that,” pointed out Nick Simpson, a field service representative instructor and mechanic with Navistar Defense.

The new vehicle builds upon the capabilities of its predecessor, making the process of upending, towing, and pulling broken down or disabled trucks even faster and more efficient.

“It has more capability to lift heavier vehicles,” said Simpson, a Tulsa, Okla., native.

One of these trucks can do what it takes two of the previous model trucks to do with larger vehicles, Simpson stated.

With complete confidence, Simpson says that this new MRV can turn over and tow any debilitated vehicle.

In fact, it has increased load bearing capabilities, upwards of 65,000 pounds.

The biggest technological advance of the truck is the GREER system, which is a computer system that monitors the load that the boom is picking up. It displays the weight load and even advises when it reaches an unsafe capacity.

“The truck controls on the new and old model are similar, but the computer display is much nicer,” said Cpl. Adrian Gonzalez, a Motor-T wrecker operator with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment.

Gonzalez, originally from Austin, Texas, said not only was the GREER system a great improvement, but that the training as a whole was a good thing.  The increased capabilities on the MRV will provide Marines with a faster and safer solution to a constant reality in this type of war.

Vehicles get overturned in blasts or even stuck in unexpectedly rough terrain, and having this newer truck will help them speed up the process of getting the vehicles back in the fight.