Under the heat of the desert sun, a convoy of military vehicles roll down a dirt trail, kicking up dust and sand as they reach speeds of 45 miles per hour. The vehicle driving down the path is the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles, or FMTVA2. The FMTVA2 is being tested with hopes it will replace its predecessor, the Light Medium Tactical Vehicle, or LMTV, allowing Soldiers across the Army to have access to a modernized vehicle. The vehicles look familiar but are a little different from what Soldiers are used to seeing. Feedback from the Soldiers are integral to the equipment testing process. Input from Soldiers testing the equipment is collected and used to inform the U.S. Army Operational Test Command how the FMTVA2 performs.
“Driving the FMTV has been a complete game changer from the old LMTV,” said Spc. Salvador Castillo, a horizontal engineer with Alpha Company, 16th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. Castillo and his unit tested the FMTVA2 for about 4 weeks and praised the improvements from the previous model.
David Rogers, a civilian employee of OTC and assistant test officer for the FMTVA2 follow-on operational test, said “All the data requirements are captured and testing criteria are met to ensure that they can coordinate with their sister unit, the U.S. Army Evaluation Center, to produce an evaluation report to inform Army senior leaders of the FMTVA2’s suitability and reliability.”
The evaluator’s role as vital to ensuring the test exercise conducted over the course of the follow-on operational test meets data requirements and gives an overall scope of the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles capabilities and its readiness to roll out to the Army and its Soldiers. As training wrapped up, the Soldiers testing the FMTVA2 are confident in the vehicle’s performance and their ability to operate them. Three Fort Bliss 1st Armored Division units took part in the operational test: Companies A and B, 501st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Combat Brigade Team; the 16th Brigade Engineer Battalion; with the 528th Hospital Center, 1st Medical Brigade also joining in.
The Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) is a series of military vehicles that are based on a common chassis and vary by payload and mission requirements. The FMTV is derived from the Austrian Steyr 12M18 truck, but substantially modified to meet United States Army requirements, these including a minimum 50 percent U.S. content. The U.S. Army announced on 7 February 2018 that it had selected Oshkosh to build to FMTV A2. In August 2021, it was announced by Oshkosh that the Army’s Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) had awarded the company a $152 million delivery order for 541 FMTV A2. The Army is expected to begin fielding the A2 FMTV variant in June 2023.