Marines drive through heavy snowfall and harsh winds to obtain tactical licenses

3 Nov 2015 | (U.S Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Damarko Bones/Released) 2nd Marine Logistics Group

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - With the help of a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected All-Terrain Vehicle simulator, Marines were able to drive the vehicle in extreme conditions that mimicked heavy snow and 100 mph winds during a licensing course instructed by the Motor Vehicle Incidental Drivers School at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Nov. 3, 2015.

Marines identified a need for the lighter, faster, and smaller vehicle after operating in areas with restricted mobility. The M-ATV is designed with greater mobility than previous armored vehicles and maintains a high level of protection from enemy attacks, while maneuvering across dynamic terrain. Licensing courses like the one provided by MVIDS allows Marines and sailors the opportunity to broaden their skill sets and prepare for unexpected situations in theater.

“You never know whenever you’re in a combat environment and you might have to drive,” said Cpl. Tim Wood, and instructor at MVIDS. “It’s the same concept as if a Marine went on a foot patrol. We don’t want a Marine to have to get behind the wheel of a 7-ton [truck] and not know what they’re doing.”

The school allows service members from any background to come out and receive the same training as Marines in the motor transportation field.

Wood continued to say the information and training students receive at MVIDS is almost identical to the training Marines receive when they prepare for their military occupational specialty in motor transportation.

Though any Marine can take this course and warrant the qualifications, Marines who specialize in transport can attend the courses to benefit themselves and become more of an asset to their respective units.

Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Mumper, the director of MVIDS, emphasized the ability of specialized motor transportation Marines to be able to come to this school in order to enhance their current licenses.

The students must accomplish more than just driving a simulator to receive their tactical vehicle licenses.

Mumper continued to add that these courses start in a basic classroom setting with instructions followed by written tests. After the students complete the tests, they must drive a set number of miles and perform skills tests. These specific tests consist of both day and night driving and require the driver to properly maneuver the vehicle with confidence.

Not all drivers pass this course when they come through the school. Despite the set-back, a driver can retake the class at a later time.

“If somebody doesn’t complete the course, we give them a learner’s permit and they go back to their individual unit,” Mumper said. “From there, they have to ride with a licensed driver until they get more road miles. When they’re ready, they can come back at a later date in order to retest.”

MVIDS continues to provide a universal capability that translates across 2nd Marine Logistics group. Marines are teaching their peers how to be more efficient with specialized skills they can utilize while forward deployed or during training.