View Full Version : Anniversary of Marine Corps LAVs

10-10-08, 04:50 AM
Anniversary of Marine Corps LAVs

10/9/2008 By Lance Cpl. Jimmy Serena Jr. ,

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. —To coincide with the 25th anniversary of the production of the first Light Armored Vehicle, the Program Manager’s Office for the LAV, a program under Marine Corps Systems Command, donated an LAV A-1 to the National Museum of the Marine Corps on Oct. 3.

Hundreds of people attended the ceremony where guest speaker Col. Michael Micucci, LAV program manager, spoke of his love for the vehicle and the great things it has done for our armed services.

‘‘The LAV program represents a true success for the Corps,” Micucci said. ‘‘This platform provides great capability and operational flexibility to the employing commander.”

Micucci spoke of the history of the LAV and 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Alfred Gray’s idea in the late 1970’s that a reconnaissance force could be more effective if they were transported by agile vehicles. Since that time LAVs have deployed to Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Marines Adopted the LAV in 1983 expecting it to serve until 2005.

‘‘With the advancement that the LAV has made, I expect this vehicle to be around for a lot longer,” Micucci said. ‘‘I’ve said in the past that I think the LAV is one of the Corps’ best assets and I still believe that today.”

As of 2008, the Marine Corps LAV is now projected to remain in service until at least 2024. Through programs of service life extension, upgrades to armor and armament, along with survivability and capability enhancements, the LAV remains combat ready for the battlefields of the 21st century. The LAVs of today have better defense systems and offensive capabilities.

According to Sgt. Craig Calucci, lead LAV instructor with the First Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp Pendleton, Calif., the LAV’s eight wheeled configuration can maintain highway speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour, can climb 60 degree inclines and traverse 30 degree side slopes.

It accelerates from 0 to 20 mph in less than ten seconds and negotiates 18-inch vertical steps. The LAV has a cruising range of more than 400 miles and provides more than 14 inches of ground clearance.

According to Miccuci, the LAV gives the enemy a harder time when trying to defend against it because it is capable of traversing on water. As time progresses, the LAV will continue to adapt to whatever the needs of the armed services may be, he said.