[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                   October 10, 2008
Training

Guardian vehicle helps units 
overcome IED threat

By Tom Michele, The Real McCoy Contributor


     The newest addition to the Fort McCoy fleet of tactical vehicles patrolling the streets and roads is the Guardian armored security vehicle (ASV), more particularly labeled an M1117 ASV-150 in Army lingo.

Photo: Driver Pfc. Thomas Tracy and gunner Spc. Trenton Murray get checked out in the Guardian vehicle prior to a training mission at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Tom Michele)
Driver Pfc. Thomas Tracy and gunner Spc. Trenton Murray get checked out in the Guardian vehicle prior to a training mission at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Tom Michele)

The Guardians are being introduced at McCoy as the Army evolves into newer technology, specifically in "combating" improvised explosive devices (IED).

About 20 Guardians appeared in Troop Motor Pool parking lots, soon migrating to numerous training areas and range roads, according to Staff Sgt. Corey Scott, with the 81stís C Troop, 1st Squadron, 303rd Cavalry. The 81st Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT) is at Fort McCoy mobilizing in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Guardians were running in the middle of mounted convoy patrols of mobilizing Soldiers going through numerous mission exercises. The training involved various elements of the 303rd.

It is natural to have the new vehicles in the middle of 81st training because the vehicles are the property of the 81stís Brigade Special Troops Battalion (BSTB).

The Guardian weighs approximately six tons and holds the driver, truck commander, turret gunner and one more crew member.

Various small-arms weapons may be employed on the Guardian, including the MK-19 grenade launcher and M2 .50-caliber machine gun. Squad Automatic Weapons and M240 light machine guns also may be used.

Scott said, "We are using the Guardians for all aspects of mobilization training, including convoy training, contingency operating location operations, setting up landing zones, small-arms skills, various battle-focused training tasks, even Combat Life Saver training. For our mission in Iraq we will primarily be assigned to convoy escort with supplies and logistics for military and nonmilitary missions. Anything they want us for."

"It is very interesting in that the Guardian has the multi-weapons capabilities and the way it handles in various terrain," Scott said. "It has a lot of armor on it, a very powerful diesel engine and very quick reaction time. It can be turned Ďon a dime.í"

C Troop First Sergeant 1st Sgt. Kevin Brooker said, "It is important that we are receiving training and familiarization on this vehicle because use of the Guardian provides better protection for the crew compared to other armored vehicles. Training with the Guardian at Fort McCoy has gone well. We have been busy with it on lanes training."

One of Scottís crew members on a recent training mission on a McCoy lane, Pfc. Thomas Tracy, said the Guardian "is not as top-heavy as some of our larger armored vehicles, so it can more easily swerve, evade and miss an IED in a road, and has the power to easily and quickly go through corners. The Guardian also has a controlled tire-inflation system that, at the flick of a switch on the instrument panel, can deflate and re-inflate the tires easily and quickly, to have the traction to get through different terrain, like sand and mud."

"The Guardian has a winch-pulley system so it can pull itself out of a ditch by hooking up to a stationary object and pulling itself into position so it can be driven away or towed," he added.

Another crewman, Spc. Trenton Murray, said his favorite aspect of the Guardian is the air conditioner. "It works very well. The AC is a must. It is so nice, and super cold."

Murray said preventative maintenance is easy because there is very easy access to check fluid levels, wiring, belts and most mechanical functions. "That makes it easier and faster to do Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services.

(Michele is a public affairs specialist for Eagle Systems and Services Inc., contractor for CONUS Support Base Services.)

 

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