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Old 05-03-2021, 01:52 PM
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Exclamation US Marines May Have Lost Their ‘Amphibious Edge,’ Leaders Say

US Marines May Have Lost Their ‘Amphibious Edge,’ Leaders Say
By: Defense One News - 05-03-21

Top Marines tell Congress that after deadly AAV accident and years in Middle East, the Corps and its vehicles are unprepared for waterborne operations.

The amphibious assault vehicle mishap that killed eight Marines and a sailor in July 2020 has spurred many “lessons learned” that leaders say will prevent anything so “tragic” from happening again. But along with improved safety measures and redundancies, the accident also showed the Marine Corps that it may no longer be honed for amphibious operations, Marine Corps leaders told Congress on Monday.

Almost the entire fleet of AAVs—not just those involved in the fatal training accident—failed to meet operational standards, Maj. Gen. Gregg Olson, Marine Corps staff director explained. When the 13 vehicles were delivered to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit in April 2020, 12 were not operational. But they were deemed ready for landborne operations after months of repairs by 15th MEU mechanics, and by July, the AAVs had achieved “what we thought” was waterborne capabilities, Olson said.

However, the vehicles did not meet the standards required for waterborne operations, as became clear after the accident. More than 54 percent of the AAVs in the fleet did not meet watertight integrity standards, an investigation revealed.

“What we found in our subsequent inspections after a safety of use message came up on the 31st of July was that we had a problem across the fleet with our watertight integrity,” Olson said.

The leader identified as partly at fault for deploying the vehicles, Maj. Gen. Robert Castellvi, has been suspended. Castellvi is the current Marine Corps inspector general but was the commanding general of 1st Marine Division at the time of the accident.

While the Navy has not returned to waterborne AAV operations since the mishap, the Marine Corps has. And Berger told the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness on Monday that the vehicles themselves will remain in the Marine Corps’s fleet until 2026, despite their poor performance.

“These are old vehicles, but they are broadly well understood,” Berger said. “I assure you, we will fully resource any requirement to keep these operational.”


Personal note: What's the old adage - Shit Happens - but excuses are not tolerated in the service - at least they weren't when I was in. Keeping up with older technology sometimes needs a refresher as long as the equipment is still in active service. It's difficult to recall procedures on all equipment. You have to use it often to be familiar with it. The issue of poor performance is a little heavy from upper management but here again not all of us has been trained on every piece of equipment and then hardly ever used - it can lead to some field problems such as with these guys. So I would put the blame on the upper management for not re-certifying the guys on the operations and maintenance rather then say here's you equipment get it going. It's a catch 22 whereas the operators of said equipment were not refreshed with the equipment prior to usage! Nobody can remember everything - ask me I know. Loss of life happens and when it does there is always someone who will say - you should have known better. Chin up - it won't happen again and more than one guy should know how to operate and go through the check list prior to usage. I know from experience - loosing lives is tragic and not intended we all know this but like I said - Shit Happen's - don't do it again and move on! Your superior's should have stood up for you and taken partial blame not just you - that's my final thought on this subject!

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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