U.S. Air Force defenders from the 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron conducted the first operational mission with the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) supporting launch facility maintenance near Harrisburg, Nebraska, April 24, 2023. The JLTV is a new armored truck that is set to replace the aging Up-Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, commonly known as the Humvee. This is part of AFGSC’s efforts to modernize and enhance defenders’ capabilities and better protect one of the nation’s most critical assets, its nuclear arsenal. Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Daniels and Senior Airman Zion Hill, 90 MSFS maintenance support team, made history by conducting the first real-world JLTV operation for Air Force Global Strike Command.
“The JLTV is an extremely robust and versatile vehicle, offering improved point of view, responsive suspension systems, increased power and modern safety features. Many of the defenders who will operate the vehicle, were born after the UAHMMWV entered service and are anxious to take advantage of all the new capabilities,” Lt. Col. William Brokaw, 90 MSFS commander said.
“It is built like a tank. When you climb into the Humvee, you are stepping back in time 20 years. The JLTV is like driving the Batmobile into the future to better defend our nation,” Senior Airman Zion Hill said.
“It is a night and day difference. When you climb inside a Humvee you are walking into a historical box. You will see old analog gauges, a classic steering wheel, a center console with a radio. Whereas, the JLTV gives defenders a better tool to perform their nuclear security duties,” 1st Lt. Joseph Struzik, 90th Missile Security Operations Squadron officer in charge of logistics and sustainment said.
“I like being first. It’s kind of entertaining, especially driving around on base and off-base. You see people taking pictures. The 90th Missile Security Force Squadron is proud to be one of the first to start using the JLTV,” Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Daniels said.
The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) is a step forward in terms of safety and protection. However, Brokaw emphasized that the JLTV is a complex vehicle and requires investment in training to ensure operators’ safety and skills. Every operator must complete 40 hours of training, both classroom and hands-on familiarization and driving. A large number of Airmen are already trained, and once the truck is released for general use, they expect to be moving across the complex within a matter of weeks. Humvee drivers have to adjust to it while the JLTV adjusts to the driver. As the JLTV is rolled out across the U.S. military, it will help Airmen fit into any joint operations of the future, Brokaw said. We’re eager to put this new truck into service. This evolution has been long in the making.