USMC's AAV fleet still sidelined as fixes continue, service leaders say

by Ashley Roque

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is working on material fixes and upgrades to its Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) fleet. Since the accident of July 2020 that killed nine military members, the service has not resumed waterborne operations with the AAVs, service leaders told lawmakers during a 3 May hearing.

Members of the House Armed Services Committee met virtually to hear from USMC and US Navy (USN) leaders about ongoing steps to improve AAV training and readiness to prevent another accident.

“It was preventable in so many ways, but we failed,” USMC Assistant Commandant General Gary Thomas told lawmakers.

“Let me be clear, the AAV platoon should have received vehicles in a higher state of material readiness than they did,” he added.


        An AAV7 amphibious assault vehicle with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit enters the water at Camp Lejeune on 3 October 2018 to embark on USS 
        New York
         (LPD 21) in preparation for Exercise ‘Trident Juncture 2018’. 
       (USMC/Gunnery Sgt R Durham)

An AAV7 amphibious assault vehicle with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit enters the water at Camp Lejeune on 3 October 2018 to embark on USS New York (LPD 21) in preparation for Exercise ‘Trident Juncture 2018’. (USMC/Gunnery Sgt R Durham)

Major General Gregg Olson, staff director of the USMC, noted that the AAVs were delivered to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in “horrible condition”. Mechanics prepared them for land operations and later made them “waterborne capable” but subsequent inspections found that there were “watertight integrity” issues.

“Some 54% of the vehicles that were inspected had failures in the watertight integrity of their plenum doors … 18% had cargo hatches that were leaking in excess of what they should have been, and fully 50% had inoperable emergency escape lighting systems,” Maj Gen Olson told lawmakers.

These water problems, combined with lack of training and communication, contributed to the deadly event.

On the morning of 30 July 2020 the MEU set out from USS Somerset

Already a Janes subscriber? Read the full article via the Client Login
Interested in subscribing, see What we do

Share

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/usmcs-aav-fleet-still-sidelined-as-fixes-continue-service-leaders-say

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is working on material fixes and upgrades to its Amphibious As...

Associated services

Related news

Loading animation

Request a free consultation to find out how in a world of fake news and ever growing conflict, Janes can provide you with unbiased, verified open-source intelligence.

Details