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Marine Corps PEO Land Systems: Light Tactical Vehicles

JLTV, HMMWV, ITV, trailers, and associated equipment are now part of the PMO LTV portfolio.

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The recent announcement of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) awards only added to an already crowded plate of activities being managed and balanced by the Program Management Office for Light Tactical Vehicles (LTV).

Reflecting a significant program expansion that occurred in December 2011, the current office portfolio spans Marine Corps involvement in the joint service JLTV as well as myriad Marine Corps High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), the Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV), associated trailers, and other related equipment.

According to PEO Land Systems’ Program Manager (PM) for Light Tactical Vehicles Lt. Col. Mike Burks, the December 2011 programmatic expansion involved the transition of programs formerly assigned under PM Motor Transport from Marine Corps Systems Command to PEO Land Systems.

“I inherited from that transition the HMMWV – both legacy and future programs; ITV; military motorcycle; and the associated trailers,” Burks said. “I also inherited the component integration piece, with the other 72 programs that require HMMWVs to perform their mission.

HMMWV 2008

Three HMMWVs from the U.S. Marine Corps’ Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment travel in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2008. Transfer of responsibility for the HMMWV fleet means a major increase in the size of the PMO LTV portfolio. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jeremy M. Giacomino

“With the consolidation of both future and legacy light tactical and light combat vehicles under a single program management office, we were specifically chartered to assume responsibility for the management and the execution of those light tactical vehicle acquisition programs that fall within that portfolio as well as the legacy fleet sustainment,” Burks explained. “And if you look beyond that, I would echo one of Mr. [William] Taylor’s themes on the PEO as a whole by pointing to the ‘domain logic’ in the LTV reorganization – the alignment of ‘land systems’ under PEO Land Systems and the associated sub-domains where that alignment produces efficiencies and eliminates redundancies in execution. It creates that synergy among related programs. And my office is merely an extension of that from Mr. Taylor’s vision.”

Putting it into military terminology, Burks pointed to the benefits of “unity of command” and “unity of effort.”

“That’s the bottom line from my end of this,” he said. “I don’t compete with some other PMO. Instead, I have those related programs all under my cognizance. And hopefully the whole ends up greater than the sum of its parts. It’s not ‘JLTV’ or ‘sustaining the HMMWV through 2030.’ It’s not one or the other. It’s both. And with the resources also now focused under a single decision-maker to allocate them and execute them most effectively.”

As the designated lead service on the joint service JLTV program, the U.S. Army announced the three JLTV EMD awards on Aug. 22, 2012. The awards were made to AM General LLC, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Oshkosh Corporation.

Oshkosh LATV JLTV

The JLTV down-select decision in August 2012 left three vehicles going into the engineering and manufacturing developmental phase. Shown here is the Oshkosh LATV contender. Oshkosh Defense photo

“We were very pleased with the robust industry response to the JLTV RFP [request for proposals],” said U.S. Army Program Executive Officer for Combat Support and Combat Service Support Kevin Fahey. “The source selection team worked diligently through the large volume of proposals submitted to ensure that the partners chosen for the EMD phase gave the services the best opportunity possible to take the next step in filling the affordable critical capability gaps within the light tactical vehicle fleet.”

“The EMD contract awards reinforce the successful joint effort between the services on JLTV,” added Marine Corps Program Executive Officer for Land Systems William Taylor. “The strong Army-Marine Corps partnership recognizes that synergy is imperative in this austere budgetary environment, and is committed to the success of JLTV in filling the affordable critical capability gap that exists in both services’ light tactical vehicle fleets.”

The JLTV EMD contracts require each company to deliver 22 full-up prototypes starting 12 months after contract award, and subsequently provide contractor support to a comprehensive 14-month government test program, including blast testing, automotive testing, and user evaluation.

Asked about how the eventual fielding of JLTV will affect the planned sustainment of the Marine Corps’ HMMWV fleet, Burks pointed to several “irons in the fire” surrounding the fleet evolution.

“With the strategic decision to commit to JLTV, the Marine Corps made the call to develop the light combat vehicle that is given to the operational commander for placing with all deliberate intent in harm’s way,” he said. “So it really crosses that boundary of light tactical vehicle and light combat vehicle. And, in fact, the Marine Corps is acquiring a disproportionate number of heavy gun trucks and close-combat weapons carriers as part of its JLTV acquisition. That number comes out to 5,500.”

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Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...