The Corps is set to take delivery of the first lot of its new eight-wheeled amphibious combat vehicle, or ACV, by summer, but don’t expect a new occupational specialty for learning to crew the vehicle.
Capt. Karoline Foote, a Marine spokeswoman, told Marine Corps Times that Gen. Robert B. Neller, the commandant of the Marine Corps, directed a task force working on the ACV transition and that a unanimous decision was made in December 2018 to not create a new military occupational specialty, or MOS.
Crewmen for the Corps’ tracked legacy assault amphibious vehicle, or AAV, currently hold the 1833 MOS after attending a nearly 55-day course aboard Camp Pendleton, California. Now, Marines operating either the ACV or AAV will hold the same MOS.
The ACV is considered a compliment and partial replacement of the AAV.
And while the Corps decided in September 2018 to cancel survivability upgrades that would have pushed the life of the AAV into 2035, the ACV will continue to operate alongside the aging tracked vehicle as the new platform is slowly rolled out to operating forces.
“Since the Marine Corps will continue to operate AAVs for a period of time following the introduction of ACVs to the operating forces, proficiency in both platforms will be expected of our crewmembers during the transitional period,” Foote explained.
“To facilitate this requirement, new equipment training will be made available to both Marines going through introductory MOS training and Marines already in the operating forces.”
The Corps is expected to take delivery of the first 30 low-rate initial production ACV vehicles by the end of 2019.
According to the fiscal year 2020 Navy budget request, the Corps plans to purchase a further 56 of the first full-rate production ACV vehicles and test articles for the ACV 1.2 variant.
The new ACV 1.2 variant will include command and control, recovery and up-gunned 30mm cannon equipped vehicle.
The Corps is nearly doubling its investment in the ACV in 2020, dropping $318 million in the recent budget request.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.