The instructors from the 3rd Brigade, 94th Training Division (TD) – Force Sustainment trained Army Reserve, National Guard, active-duty, and civilian personnel on the military’s newest tactical vehicle, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), in the latest JLTV Operator New Equipment Training (OPNET) Course at the JLTV Training Center in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.
“The 94th is leading the force on this training, and I’m proud to be part of it,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Warminski, the JLTV Training Center’s noncommissioned officer in charge.
While the initial fielding of this military vehicle started last year, the 94th TD continues to lead the JLTV driver’s training courses for all Army’s components. Still, the course is also available for any soldier, regardless of military occupational code (MOS).
“Anybody in any MOS can take the OPNET driving training course,” Warminski said. “Whether soldiers are in combat arms MOSs or are military police, combat engineers; really any MOS can attend because they will be out there and doing the driving.”
Instructors train students on more than 70 vehicle exercises, such as starting and stopping the vehicle, approaching and changing lanes, merging and exiting on an expressway, and driving on various terrains.The invaluable knowledge the instructors bring to the JLTV courses aids students in better understanding the JLTV and significantly adds to the training experience. At the beginning of the week-long course, students learn the vehicle’s characteristics, features, operations, maintenance, and aspects, so soldiers will safely handle the vehicle during the driving phase.
“The JLTV is very much a technology-oriented vehicle, and it takes away a lot of variables that you don’t have to think about anymore,” said 1st Lt. Edward Hartley, an OPNET student currently assigned to the 353rd Civil Affairs Command, Staten Island, New York. “I plan to take the knowledge I’ve learned here back to my unit and give a full briefing on the ins and outs and the dos and don’ts.”
“When I was a young soldier, I helped field the Humvee, and now I’m helping to field the JLTV that will eventually replace the Humvee,” Warminski said. “I remember thinking the Humvee was the greatest thing to replace the jeeps that we were so used to working on and driving.”
Compared to the Humvee, similarities include the support of a two- or four-person crew plus gunner and provides mine resistance and ambush protection. However, the JLTV is approximately two-thirds lighter, offers greater speed over terrain, and better fuel efficiency.
“We got this brand-new piece of equipment that was more comfortable to ride in and easier to maneuver,” Warminski added. “Now, soldiers will start using the JLTVs and will say the same thing about the Humvee that I said about the jeeps.”