AAVP7A1 Assault Amphibian Vehicle Personnel
The AAVP7A1 is an armored assault amphibious full-tracked landing vehicle. The vehicle carries troops in water operations from ship to shore, through rough water and surf zone. It also carries troops to inland objectives after ashore. The amphibious capability of the AAV makes it unique among all DOD systems. This forcible entry amphibious capability is the unique capability that sets the Marine Corps apart from the other services. A portion [64%] of the AAV fleet will undergo a reliability, availability, and maintainability (RAM) upgrade, and a rebuild to standard (RS) retrofit, to ensure Marine AAVs remain maintainable until the arrival of the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV).
The AAV-P7A1 Amtrack provides protected transport of up to 25 combat-loaded Marines through all types of terrain. The engine compartment can be completely water-sealed, making it seaworthy. It has an enhanced applique‚ armor kit, or sandwich-plated steel armor, with a layer of Kevlar underneath, to protect the troops from high-caliber weapons fire. It's firepower consists of an M2 .50-cal. machine gun, an MK-19 40mm grenade launcher, and a line charge with C4 explosives for use in clearing mines. It can move at speeds of up to 45 mph on land and five knots at sea.
While underway, the Marines clean and maintain their Amtracks, or what they call their "hogs," every day to prevent them from rusting and to ensure their combat survivability. Nothing escapes their attention. They toil over their machines to tighten loose bolts, check the suspension, squirt a little grease here and there, and give it a good scrubbing. If this vehicle were to break down while under hostile gunfire, the consequences could be disastrous and cost the lives of a lot of good men.
In 1985 the Marine Corps changed the designation of the LVTP7Al to AAV7Al--amphibious assault vehicle-representing a shift in emphasis away from the long-time LVT designation, meaning "landing vehicle, tracked." Without a change of a bolt or plate, the AAV7Al was to be more of an armored personnel carrier and less of a landing vehicle.
The LVTP7, which had come into the Marine Corps inventory in the early 1970s, was a quantum improvement over the short-ranged LVTP5 of the Vietnam era. Weighing in at 26 tons (23,991 kg) combat-loaded, and with a three-man crew, it can carry 25 Marines. With a road speed of 45 mph (72 km/h), it is also fully amphibious with water speeds up to 8 mph (13 km/h). It is not as heavily armed or armored as the Army's Bradley infantry fighting vehicle; on the other hand, the M2A1 Bradley carries only seven troop passengers.
The AAV was originally designed and built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Replacement vehicle designs in the early 1980s were canceled and a Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) was initiated. This SLEP was completed in 1986. The SLEP extended the projected life of the AAV until the mid 1990s when a new amphibious assault vehicle was expected to be fielded.
A Product Improvement Program (PIP) in the late 1980s and early 1990s resulted in a significant increase in the weight of the AAV. This weight growth was not matched with an increase in power or suspension components. The increased weight has strained the ability of the suspension to provide a smooth and safe ride for embarked personnel while decreasing overall ground clearance from 16 inches to less than 12 inches. The result has been an increased maintenance requirement on the power plant, suspension, and electrical systems. Additionally, a larger than expected corrosion control maintenance program has been required.
The Assault Amphibian Vehicle (AAV) was originally fielded in 1972, and although there have been numerous upgrades and overhauls throughout its’ lifecycle, the AAV will have been in service for 40 years by the time AAAV is fully fielded. In 1988, a series of Mission Area Analyses determined that the AAV was significantly deficient in several important areas, to include water and land speed, firepower, armor protection, and system survivability. Thus, the requirement for an improved assault amphibian vehicle was established.
The new Advanced Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAAV) is in the program definition and risk reduction phase of the acquisition process. The AAAV fielding schedule requires the expected life of the SLEP AAV to be more than double what was planned. The projected fielding schedule of the AAAV means the AAV will be in service for another 15 years.
Many systems on the AAV are reaching the end of their useful life and will require replacement. , Marine Corps System Command determined that instead of Inspect or Repair Only as Necessary (IROAN), the next cycle of AAV depot maintenance action would more appropriately be a Rebuild to Standard.
Date First Prototype
Date First Production Vehicle
Unloaded: 46,314 Pounds (With EAAK, Less Crew, Fuel, OEM, and Ammo)
21 Combat Equipped Troops (@ 285 Pounds) or
Land at 25 MPH: 300 Miles
Land: 20 to 30 MPH
Maximum Speed Forward
Land: 45 MPH
Maximum Speed Reverse
Land: 12 MPH
Length: 13.5 Feet
Armament and Ammunition
HBM2 Caliber.50 Machine Gun and
2d Marine Division
The 2d Marine Division is the ground combat element of II MEF. Its backbone is the individual Marine infantryman whose basic mission is to locate, close with, attack and destroy, or capture the enemy. The Division is comprised of more than 15,000 enlisted Marines and Sailors and 1,000 officers who form the 2d, 6th and 8th Marine Regiments (infantry), 10th Marine Regiment (artillery), 2d Tank Battalion, 2d Reconnaissance Battalion, 2d Combat Engineer Battalion, Headquarters Battalion, 2d Assault Amphibian Battalion and 2d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.
Operations tempo (Optempo), the amount of time Marines are in the field training or away on deployments, is a constant concern. It impacts on readiness and the retention of the force. On any day in the Second Marine Division, five of the nine infantry battalions are either forward deployed or preparing to deploy: three battalions are assigned to MEUs, one is on unit deployment to Okinawa and a fifth battalion is tasked with sourcing company sized commitments to Panama, Haiti and to a South American training deployment, UNITAS. Of the four remaining battalions, one is always assigned the Air Contingency Battalion mission, while the other three pursue an active training program.
The origins of this division lay in the activation of the 2d Marine Brigade as part of the Fleet Marine Force on 1 July 1936. A year later the brigade deployed to Shanghai, China, returning in 1938 to San Diego, California. On 1 February 1941, the unit was redesignated as the 2d Marine Division. Its component regiments, the 2d, 6th, 8th, and 10th Marines, brought with them impressive histories of service in Vera Cruz (Mexico), World War I in France, and the Caribbean. In World War II, elements of the division served in Iceland, in Hawaii during the attack on Pearl Harbor, and on Samoa, then the full division in the Guadalcanal campaign, followed by the bloody assault of Tarawa for which it was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation, and on to Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa.
Division units began regular deployments to the Mediterranean as landing forces for the U.S. Sixth Fleet. The units have also deployed to Korea as replacements during the Korean War and to the Middle East to evacuate Americans and to prevent civil war during the Mideast crisis. The 2d Marine Division provided forces for the multinational peacekeeping effort in Beirut and for Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, Operation Just Cause in Panama, and Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf.
In the liberation of Kuwait, the 2d Marine Division attacked approximately 25 kilometers to the northwest of the 1st Marine Division. Under the original concept of operations, the 2d Marine Division intended to follow the 1st Marine Division through their breaching lanes. However, early analysis and walk-throughs convinced everyone that this plan would not allow the speed required for the operation nor would it minimize the exposure to enemy fire. Consequently, the 2d Marine Division’s orders were changed to allow it to attack at this separate location to breach the minefield more rapidly and to generate the maximum offensive operational momentum. In this way, the 2d Marine Division could apply concentrated forces at the decisive point of attack, and "to continue rapidly forward to seize division and MEF [Marine Expeditionary Force] objectives."
The 2d Marine Division provided forces for multinational peacekeeping efforts in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia and Liberia. The 2d Marine Division - the "Follow Me Division" - is combat ready and an integral part of America's force in readiness.
Global War on Terror
Operation Iraqi Freedom
An AAV from 2nd AABn conducts an IED sweep outside of Fallujah in August 2006.
The battalion was deployed to the Middle East in 2003 and took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom I providing mechanized support for the infantry regiments. On 23 March, elements of Company A and C fought in the Battle of Nasiriyah with [Regimental Combat Team 2].
After the invasion, the battalion began a regular rotation of companies to Iraq. Usually designated "Team Gator", these companies provided both traditional AAV missions and provisional infantry missions.
Company C and D participated in the Operation Phantom Fury (Second Battle of Fallujah) in November 2004 - January 2005.
In 2008, Company D was the last 2d AABn unit to use AAVs in country. They switched to MRAPs and continued security missions.
Company B deployed to Ramadi in support of 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. The company was tasked with operating the numerous entry control points (ECPs) around the city.
Operation Enduring Freedom
Elements of Company C deployed to the Helmand Province with Battalion Landing Team 1/6 as part of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The platoon was part of combat operations in the Taliban filled district of Garmsir.
Company D deployed to the Helmand Province, Afghanistan as MRAP Company, Regimental Combat Team 3 in 2009. They conducted route security missions, local population engagements, screening missions, and manned two combat outposts while attached to 1st Battalion, 5th Marines.
Company B, Det-A deployed from November 2009 to May 2010 to relieve Company D as MRAP Company for Regimental Combat Team 7. Fourth Platoon was attached to 1st Battalion, 3d Marines and conducted provisional infantry missions from two combat outposts. Third Platoon and the company headquarters element participated in Operation Moshtarak (Battle of Marjeh). After supporting clearing operations with the 3/4/205 Afghan National Army battalion, the platoon provided security at the Marjeh Government Center and for the District Governor.
Company B, Det-B deployed as part of the troop surge in Afghanistan in December 2009. They were designated as the Base Defense Operations Center company and secured the major southern Helmand Province Marine base Camp Dwyer. Second Platoon provided the guard force for the base and manned a nearby outpost. Elements of 1st Platoon also participated in route security and screening missions during the preparations phase of Operation Moshtarak.
Operation Unified Response
Following the devistating earthquake Haiti in January 2010, platoons of Company A and C (as part of the 22nd and 24th Marine Expeditionary Units) as well as Yankee Platoon from Headquarters and Service Company (part of African Partnership 2010) deployed to the country to provide humanitarian assistance.
2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion
The mission of the 2nd Assault Amphibious Battalion is to land the surface assault element of the landing force and their equipment in a single lift from assault shipping during amphibious operations to inland objectives and to conduct mechanized operations and related combat support in subsequent operations ashore.
The Second Assault Amphibian Battalion originated with the activation of Company "A" in December 1941 at Marine Barracks Dunedin, Florida. The Battalion organization was subsequently effected on 18 March 1942 at Marine Barracks San Diego, California. The "Second Amphibian Tractor Battalion" was an Organic unit of the 2nd Marine Division, composed of a Headquarters and Service Company and three letter companies, all equipped with the Landing Vehicle Tracked-1 (LVT-1).
In 1942, the Battalion set sail from San Diego, CA with the First Marine Division to meet the Japanese tide sweeping across the South Pacific. Ever conscious of the realities of war, the island hopping campaigns with assault waves of amtracs crashing through surf and clambering onto shore remain the "glory days" for the Battalion.
Elements of the 2nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion participated in assaults on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Spain, Tinian and Okinawa. After the surrender of Japan in August of 1945, the Battalion returned to the United States and deactivated on 29 November 1945. The 2nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion was reactivated on 1 May 1946. The Battalion was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina where it participated in peace time training with the 2nd Marine Division. During this time the Battalion was equipped with the LVT-3 and consisted of a
Headquarters and Service company and four letter companies. As a result of the economy program, the Battalion was once again deactivated on 16 October 1949.
The Korean Crisis during the following year changed the plans, and on 10 August 1950, the Battalion was once again reactivated. It was reassigned on 10 April 1951 to Force Troops, Fleet Marine Force. During July 1956, the LVT-3 was phased out and the Battalion was equipped with LVTP-5. Concurrently, the Battalion was reduced to a Headquarters and Service Company and two letter companies. In 1957, elements of the 2nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion sailed from Camp Lejeune with the Sixth Marine Regiment (Reinforced) for operations in the Mediterranean Sea. This was the first of what is now the Landing Force Sixth Fleet deployment.
In 1958, the Battalion responded to the Middle East Crisis with the first units of the Battalion landing in Lebanon on 15 July.
Throughout the1960's the 2nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion demonstrated its readiness for assignment to any appropriate task.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, both letter companies embarked on amphibious shipping in preparation for assault landings. The Battalion provided on LVTR05 (retriever) Band crew to act as part of the on-site recovery force for Gemini and Apollo missions in March 1965. April 1965 found the Dominican Republic on a state of political chaos. Amtracs from 2nd Amphibious Battalion landed just west of Santo Domingo and supported operations until the political situation stabilized. In 1966, the Battalion transferred 260 Amphibian Tractor Crew men to Vietnam. Throughout the war, the 2nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion supported routine deployments and provided training support to the 2nd Marine Division.
The 1970's brought about major changes in the Battalion. On 5 April 1972, a ceremony was held to commemorate activation of the first LVTP-7 company (Company C) in the Marine Corps. Company D was activated two weeks later, giving the Battalion four letter companies in addition to Headquarters and Service Company. On 1 January 1977, the Battalion was redesigned as the Second Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, FMF.
Beginning in 1983, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion supported the 2nd Marine Division as part of the Multinational Peace Keeping Force in Lebanon. Elements of the Battalion also participated in the invasion of Grenada. In 1987, the Battalion initiated one company into the Unit Deployment Program rotation with the 3rd Marine Division. Company B, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion finalized Unit Deployment rotations for the Battalion upon its return from Okinawa, Japan in January 1992.
The August 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq caused another chapter to be written in the history of 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion. Initiated by the deployment of Company "A" in support of 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade on 18 August 1990, the Battalion commenced an intensive pre-deployment training cycle in preparation for the Gulf War.
2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion deployed to Southwest Asia in December 1990 in support of Regimental Landing Team-6. Headquarters and Service Company, Company "B" First Armored Assault Battalion, and Company B 2md Assault Amphibian Battalion deployed with 2nd Marine Division (Forward) on 15 December 1990. Company "C" had previously departed for Okinawa, Japan as part of the Unit Deployment Program in May 1990. They remained with the 3rd Marine Division until their return to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in May of 1991. 2nd Platoon, Company "C" deployed from Okinawa to Southwest Asia in late December 1990 with the 2nd Marine Division (Main). With the addition of the MK-154 Mine Clearance Launcher Systems, the Battalion formed a General Engineer Support Unit (GSEU) which reinforced the Battalions strength to 248 Amphibious Assault Vehicles dedicated for combat operations.
In January 1991, the Battalion began intensive training and task organization to support the 6th and 8th Marine Regiments, 2nd and 8th Tank Battalions, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion and the Division Support Group. On the morning of 24 February 1991, the Battalion commenced ground offensive operations, halting on the outskirts of Kuwait City four days later. The 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion performed with distinction, adding the new Southwest Asia Service Streamer to the unit colors.
With the Liberation of Kuwait and the end of Operation Desert Storm, the Battalion returned to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and began adjustment back into peacetime operations and training. 3rd Platoon, Company "D" began deployment in the Mediterranean, supported BLT 2/8 in Operations Provide Comfort, from April to June 1991. Marines of the 2nd Assault Amphibian have recently in Norway, the Persian Gulf, South Africa, the Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and here in the United States. The Battalion will continue throughout the 90's and beyond to be a vital part of the 2nd Marine Division and the United Stated Marine Corps.
World War II