A Marine Corps-established Transition Training Unit at the Assault Amphibian School is developing a rigorous and standardized program to ensure that Amphibious Combat Vehicle Marines possess the technical knowledge, skills, and proficiency required to safely operate, maintain, supervise, and employ the ACV.
The decision to stand up the TTU came after the Marine Corps identified significant differences between the safe operating procedures of the ACV and its predecessor, the Assault Amphibious Vehicle. Preliminary findings from recent mishap investigations recommend that ACV operators receive more training focused on the internal mechanical systems of the ACV and how the platform differs from the AAV.
“We are developing a program focused on performance-evaluated measurements associated with the safe operation of the ACV both on land and in water." Col. Howard Hall, TTU officer-in-charge
“We are clear eyed about the need to get this right,” said Gen. David H. Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps. “Our Marines deserve no less, and our Nation depends on it. Amphibious operations, to include the use of ship-to-shore connectors, are a foundational aspect of the Marine Corps. Our Marines will be trained safely and to the highest standard to ensure we remain the Nation’s premier expeditionary force in readiness.”
The TTU is staffed by a hand-selected cadre of experienced and proficient ACV operators, maintainers, and trainers, augmented by other subject-matter experts from across the Marine Corps.
The TTU is currently consolidating ACV lessons learned and best practices into an updated, continuous skills validation program. Upon program approval, the TTU will evaluate and re-certify ACV operators and maintainers previously trained on the ACV platform.
“We are developing a program focused on performance-evaluated measurements associated with the safe operation of the ACV both on land and in water,” said Col. Howard Hall, the TTU officer-in-charge who is leading actions on the ground to stand up the unit. “The exceptional intensity and professionalism exhibited by the Marines of the TTU combined with the coordination and support of leaders at all levels across the Marine Corps is a testament to our commitment to facilitating the ACV transition and leveraging its impressive capabilities. This training will lay the foundation for future Assault Amphibian School and assault amphibian battalion proficiency.”
The TTU’s proficiency evaluation and validation standards developed by the TTU will be sustained on an enduring basis through entry-level ACV operator, maintainer, and unit leader training and advanced training for Marines as they progress through their career.
“It is not enough to put a check in a box when it comes to safe operation and maintenance of the ACV,” added Maj. Jim Agostino, the TTU operations officer, and a former 3d AABn company commander. “We are looking to certify Marines in the technical operation of the vehicle from each crew station, to ensure they possess the requisite skills of operating the ACV safely and have a firm foundation to enhance their capability in follow-on training.”