FORT STEWART, Ga – The 385th Military Police Battalion conducted training with Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicles at Fort Stewart, Georgia February 3-7.
The MATV training included two 40 hour courses, one for the unit master drivers and a separate course for the wheeled vehicle mechanics.
The 5-day course included vehicle preventive maintenance checks and services along with night and day vehicle operations for the master drivers.
“The training was beneficial because it shows that the Army is progressing towards providing safer vehicles,” said Davis Sgt. Jasmine Davis, a master driver assigned to the 293rd Military Police Company.
“We had Humvees before, but I feel more comfortable with the MATVs, because they are a combination of all the vehicle we have used.”
Davis said the vehicles have better driving capabilities through terrains such as ice, mud, sand and other extreme conditions.
The mechanics trained on maintenance procedures as well as diagnostics and troubleshooting.
“The first couple of days, we reviewed the vehicle operation in a classrooms setting,” said Pfc. Alexander Utley, a mechanic assigned to the 293 rd MP Co. “After that, we worked on the vehicle and learned about how heavy the plates on the vehicle were.”
In the latter part of the course, the mechanics removed parts and learned the intricacies of a MATV.
“The MATVs are different from the other vehicles I’ve worked on because they are taller, heavier, and more complex when servicing them,” said Utley.
The vehicles have been used before, but they are new to the 385th and are fully mission capable.
“The MATVs add to our capabilities as a unit,” said Sgt. Reed Webb, a master driver assigned to the 546th Military Police Company. “All the armor that they have underneath the vehicle makes it better for our safety if an IED hits us.”
The implementation of the Driver’s Vision Enhancer system, which allows drivers to see at night, is among the improved safety features on the vehicles.
“The DVE system is absolutely beneficial because, as a master driver, we have to conduct nighttime driving when we’re doing driver’s training,” said Webb. “It’s a way better system and helps us become more combat capable at night.”
Both mechanics and drivers took something away from the 5-day course
“As a mechanic, working on these vehicles was not only something new, but exciting,” said Utley. It was a challenge taking the armored plates off of the vehicle, but it was an overall good experience.”
The MATVs were selected as one of the Army’s enduring requirement vehicles.
“I think the Army is doing a great thing by implementing these vehicles and the rest of the MATVs that have the improved capabilities on them,” said Webb.
The battalion will be conducting an exercise with the vehicles to test the weapons systems beginning near the end of February through the beginning of March.