US Marines preparing for AAV operations during RIMPAC

Shortly after the US Marine Corps ordered their first next-generation amphibious vehicles, a number of US Marines units started familiarizing themselves with the new assault amphibious vehicles during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC).

Photo: US Marine Corps

During the evolutions, the US Marines worked with Canadian and Mexican service members at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, June 29, 2018.

According to the Marines, the assault amphibious vehicle familiarization is a three-step training evolution that utilizes the ‘crawl, walk, run’ approach to provide Marines and partner forces with an understanding of the functions and capabilities of the vehicles while also taking into account infantry integration considerations.

The training began June 27 and included the sharing of information on weapons and infantry tactics among the partner forces, in preparation for the final portion of the training evolution.

“Learning the capabilities of and limitations of the AAV and understanding how the 15th MEU – who specialize in amphibious operations, operate in their environment and to have them share their practices and expertise with us is an awesome experience,” Simard said. “Working with the Marines has been an experience that will follow me and my guys throughout our careers.”

In the final day of the training, Marines worked alongside partner forces participating in an amphibious assault demonstration – showcasing everything they had learned.

The US Marines’ new amphibious combat vehicles (ACV) will replace the amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) which have been in service for more than 40 years. The service has awarded BAE Systems a contract to build 30 low rate production vehicles, which will start delivering in the fall of next year.

The ACV is an eight-wheeled vehicle that will provide protection akin to the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle, with landward maneuverability and mobility that is superior to that of the AAV. It will be outfitted with a precision weapons station for enhanced lethality, and a robust swim capability, allowing it to operate within the littorals and beyond.