The U.S. Special Operations Command Ground Mobility Vehicles are coming soon to Production Plant Barstow, Marine Depot Maintenance Command (MDMC) on the Yermo Annex aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, California. The GMV 1.1 are all-terrain vehicles developed for use by U.S. Special Forces. These vehicles are designed to be lightweight and transportable via the CH-47 Chinook. The GMVs that will be sent to the PPB for repair will come from all over the world and will have been used by training units or from theater. In the past they were either maintained by the original equipment manufacturer, Flyer Defense or Letterkenny Army Depot. Since PPB personnel have not worked on the GMV so far, a team was sent by the Program Office of Family of Special Operations vehicles to train the PPB artisans on every aspect of maintenance and repair of the equipment.
SOCOM is looking for a different Depot Source of Repair for the platform. One of the influencing factors is Lt. Col. Alfredo Romero. Having worked aboard MCLB Barstow from August 2017 to July 2020 in both an operational capacity and then the executive officer, he has a strong familiarity with the Base and the capabilities of Production Plant Barstow as a DSOR. The first production line will be three to five vehicles and if the customer (SOCOM) is satisfied with the end product it will hopefully grow to 10-20 vehicles in the following years. The GMV 1.1 is a unique vehicle in support of the SOF mission. We will be testing a hybrid electric version of the GMV 1.1 soon, which PPB will have the opportunity to work on as part of a reset kit.
“The vehicles consist of a crew rollover protection, utilizing crush-resistant roll bars and able to withstand 100 percent of the gross vehicle weight,” said Paul Niemeyer, Project Officer, Program Management Division, MDMC. “The GMV also has a modular design that is able to be retro-fitted to meet Special Forces mission requirements. The base model Production Year 6 can accommodate one driver and 4 passengers.The benefit of the training being held in Barstow currently is that the artisans are being trained directly by the OEM of the vehicle, Flyer Defense, and gaining an understanding of each independent system of the vehicle, and how to operate the vehicle safely and correctly. Typically, we do not get this type of training provided to the workforce when we conduct a Proof of Principle on a new weapon system or vehicle”.
MDMC will be working with SOCOM to stand up the capability to establish a production line for the GMV and possibility open the door for other platforms SOCOM utilizes. Initially there will be eight to 10 mechanics working on the platform and as the production line grows there will be a requirement for additional personnel. The size of the shop depends on the amount of vehicles that will be funded for repair. MDMC will begin with three to five vehicles for the first production line. The change is significant for PPB as it will show the maintenance community within the DoD that the Depot is able to adapt to repair a broad spectrum of military vehicles. This will open the doors for future workload from other services and show the maintenance community that MDMC is able to produce quality products with a flexible and skilled workforce.