East Coast Marines will train with the amphibious combat vehicle for the first time in 2023.
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, is scheduled to get its first set of vehicles in spring 2023, Marine Corps Times previously reported.
As of September, Marine Corps Times previously reported, the fleet had 126 ACVs: 36 at the Assault Amphibian School in Oceanside, California, and 90 at the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion at Camp Pendleton, California. The vehicle was first fielded in 2020.
The amphibious combat vehicle is a replacement for the slower, older, amphibious assault vehicle, which had been in service since the early 1970s.
In one high-profile accident, an amphibious assault vehicle sank off the coast of California in summer 2020, killing eight Marines and a Navy corpsman. In December 2021 the Marine Corps permanently ended the use of the amphibious assault vehicle in deployments.
But adapting to the wheeled amphibious combat vehicle from the tracked amphibious assault vehicle hasn’t been a totally smooth process.
In September 2021, the Marine Corps temporarily halted waterborne operations with the amphibious combat vehicle after identifying a problem with the tow rope. The Corps pulled the amphibious combat vehicle from the water again in July and from unprotected waters in October following mishaps that left no reported injuries.
One expert on amphibious operations, retired Navy Capt. Bradley Martin of Rand, ascribed the amphibious combat vehicle mishaps to growing pains.
“My major sense is that it’s challenging to operate an armored vehicle in an amphibious capacity,” he told Marine Corps Times in October. “It’s not unexpected that there will be some development issues, things where something breaks, or there’s some stability feature that wasn’t anticipated and has to be corrected.”
“None of it strikes me as being fundamentally averse to the development of the vehicle and the use of it,” he said.
Marine officials have said the Corps plans in coming years to acquire high-tech tools that can train Marines on how to maintain and fix the vehicle, Marine Corps Times previously reported.
Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.