Marines test their Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) to test the vehicles’ ability to swim for short distances with a full combat load.
Marines use specially designed ballasts to add weight to the vehicles and simulate the extra weight of Marines, their gear and ammunition. Ballasts are only used during training exercises to measure how much extra weight each vehicle can carry. One LAV- Logistics Vehicle (LAVL) and three LAV-25’s tested their swimming capabilities after the float test.
“As an LAR unit, we are tasked to do some form of long distance reconnaissance, and our ability to cross rivers, if there is no bridge, allows us to continue our mission without being held up on any kind of terrain feature,” says 1st Lt Brookwater, who is not connected with this sinking vehicle.
Bookwalter said in the past, LAV-25’s have sunk because procedures in the water were not properly conducted. Testing the vehicles not only ensures they are intact, but it allows Marines to practice proper procedures and safety techniques.
Some examples of safety techniques the Marines conducted include making sure hole plugs in the bottom of the vehicle are properly sealed, greased, and have good suction; and making sure the propellers in the back are capable of working properly, said Bookwalter.