Bring On The Mud: Marines Complete Vehicle Recovery Course
By Sgt Alisa Helin
April 2, 2013
Marines with 2d Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2d Marine Logistics Group met to complete the Vehicle Recovery Course aboard Camp Lejeune, March 25, 2013.
The course is normally six weeks long and takes place at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., but this version is condensed into four weeks. The shorter course allows for a mobile training team to travel to Camp Lejeune, teaching more than 12 Marines at a time.
The students graduated with the necessary military occupational specialty of 3536, vehicle recovery operator.
“Basic operators only know how to put equipment on the truck and go,” said Sgt Ryan Schmidt, a Saint Augustine, Texas, native and assistant instructor for the course. “[This] deals with crane operations, retrieval systems and a lift tow.”
The Marines were greeted with a cold, muddy field and a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, or MATV, upside-down, stuck in the mud.
The students must calculate the weight of the vehicle and see how deep it is, before hooking the MATV up to a Logistics Vehicle System Replacement, or LVSR. These conditions must be put together first to get the job done properly and safely, said Schmidt.
The Marines then worked together to attach chains to help pull the vehicle out from the mud. They secured and checked the cables and gave the command to flip the truck over.
The LVSR started pulling the chains in and slowly the MATV rose off its side.
If there were a twist in the chains, loose parts or new dangers that appeared while in motion, the vehicle would have been lowered to its original position so the Marines could have fixed the problem, but this time it went smoothly.
“The training was very successful. The Marines executed safety,” said Schmidt. “They’re messing with a three quarter inch cord and if it messes up, it can slice through a brick wall. I think the Marines did a great job.”
Training like this can be used in everyday operations throughout the entire Marine Corps and within the 2d MLG.
“We’re on call seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” said Schmidt. “We’re on a roll with recovery mission, [almost] every day.”