Kit Up!

Dialing Out Your LAV (Or Other Tactical Vehicle)


LAVs can be a miserable place to be. They're cramped, hot, loud and seemingly built for miniature humans with no legs.

While they're highly manueverable and can spit out some 25 mike mike like no tomorrow, they pretty much suck to live out of for extended periods of time.

I spent week-long patrol with an Marine LAR unit in Iraq a few years ago and bunked with the terp and another reporter in the Log-LAV for several days. It pretty much sucked ass, but wasn't nearly as bad as hunkering down against the cold outside.

This story from a Marine PAO brings back memories...and I wonder if it brings back some fond(n't) memories for some of our readers...

At first glance, the back of the light armored vehicle designated as the casualty evacuation vehicle for C Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, is nothing more than a mobile trauma bay on eight wheels. Stretchers sit stacked to one side of the already cramped 6-foot by 7-foot cargo area. Emergency medical supplies are crammed into bags hanging from almost every surface.

There is more here, though – a hot water heater peeks out from behind a bag of combat gauze. A weightlifting kettlebell sits in front of a set of expeditionary tent poles. An assortment of freeze-dried meals poke out of a pack next to rifle cleaning gear. These and other comfort items are here because this closet-sized space is a home of sorts for Petty Officer 3rd Class Alex Averill and the rest of the vehicle’s four-man crew.

And being Marines, there's always some room made for workout gear:
When the Marines of C Company aren’t tucking in at the end of a day of interdictions, they’re usually trying to find a way to work out. There are no membership gyms in southern Afghanistan, and fitness is important to the Marines, said Owens.

This leads to some creative thinking. The Marines do pull-ups on suspended tow bars or off the edge of their vehicles. Some crews sacrifice personal space for small sets of weights. Other exercises require no extra equipment.

So does this shake some recollections loose? Tell us how you customized your long range patrol vehicle for those cold, lonely nights. Show Full Article