Marine grunts will soon have an option to ride in style on field operations and downrange.
The first Polaris MRZR-D all-terrain vehicles purchased by the Corps late last year will be delivered to infantry regiments in the next two weeks.
Manny Pacheco, a spokesman for the Marine Corps' Program Executive Office Land Systems, said 2nd Marine Regiment on the East Coast and 7th Marine Regiment on the West Coast would be first to receive the new diesel vehicles, which can seat four Marines and fit inside an MV-22 Osprey or CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter. Other East and West Coast regiments will follow, receiving 18 vehicles per regiment. Okinawa-based units will begin to get the vehicles in March, Pacheco said.
In all, the Marine Corps spent $2.5 million to buy 144 of the vehicles, which weigh just 2,100 pounds and can haul up to 1,500 pounds of supplies.
“The Marine’s pack is getting heavier, and they are carrying more gear than ever down range,” Jessica Turner, team lead for Internally Transportable Vehicles/Utility Task Vehicles at PEO Land Systems, said in a statement. “Infantry Marines were looking for a capability that would lessen the load while increasing the area of operation, and [this] is that solution.”
Marine infantrymen won't be the only ones getting the new ATVs. According to a news release from PEO Land Systems, the Marine Corps joined a Marine Corps Special Operations Command contract to purchase the vehicles, meaning Raiders will also be riding on the ultralight four-wheelers.