LAV-25: The Marine Corps' Light Armored Vehicle (New Vanguard)
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The Light Armored Vehicle -25 (LAV-25) has played a significant role in transforming Marine Corps doctrine since its introduction in the early-1980s. The Marine Corps Light Armored Vehicle program was based on the proven Swiss MOWAG Piranha series of 4x4, 6x6, and 8x8 wheeled vehicles. However, developing organizational units, tactics, and employment of the weapon system within the force structure of the Marine Corps proved to be more of a challenge than fielding the weapon system. This resulted in multiple re-designations for LAV units within the Corps. The LAV first saw combat action in Panama during Operation Just Cause (1989); LAV-25s have fought in every major conflict since - to include the current conflicts during Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq. During Operation Desert Storm the vehicle's record shows mixed results due to a string of friendly fire incidents; however one LAV-25 Commander earned the Navy Cross (one of only two Navy Crosses awarded to Marines during the Gulf War). The success of the LAV program has translated to several operators such as Canada, Australia, and the Saudi Arabian National Guard employing the weapon system for their own forces. This in-depth, highly-illustrated title will shed new light on this popular subject.
the recon Marines, who were now nearly out of anti-tank munitions. An M551 Sheridan follows an Army LAV-25 during training near Khalid Range, Saudi Arabia, January 10, 1991. The US Army’s 3rd Battalion, 73rd Armored Regiment, of the 82nd Airborne Division operated 14 LAV-25s and one LAV-R on loan from the Marine Corps during Desert Storm. (DoD) A Marine from the 1st LAI Battalion prepares ammunition for the LAV-25’s coaxial machine gun and the M242 Bushmaster during Operation Desert Shield,
vehicles on the Kuwait side of the border. Instead of waiting for another attack on OP-4, Captain Shupp had his LAV-ATs fire a volley of TOW missiles, destroying two tanks. He then sent a platoon to look for the LAV-AT (call sign Green Two) missing from the first engagement. When the Marines finally found the burnt-out hulk of the LAV-AT they confirmed there were no survivors. The fight for OP-4 wore on as the Iraqis continued to send troops and vehicles into the area. Shupp worked with AH-1W
specific lanes. The LAV crews found fresh tracks passing through a minefield and used them to proceed past this second obstacle. The task force attacked Iraqi artillery positions while covering for Task Force Ripper, and the LAVs of Task Force Shepherd established a screen line that skirted the western edge of the Al Burqan oilfields. En route the crews were the first US ground forces to encounter the burning Iraqi oilfields, which created a surreal scene, with visibility at times less than 50yds
and a directional finder The prototype General Electric air defense turret is adorned with confirmed kills of both aerial drones and ground targets. An initial production run of 125 LAV-ADs was cut to only 17. The Marine Corps LAV-AD variant was the last of the first-generation LAVs to be produced for the Marine Corps. (DoD) An LAV-AD crew from the 4th LAR Battalion fire their 25mm Gatling gun during a live-fire exercise at Fort Hunter, CA, during Exercise Highland Thunder, March 10, 1999. The
Panamanian Defense Forces RCT – Regimental Combat Team RDTF – Rapid Deployment Task Force SANG – Saudi Arabian National Guard SLEP – Service Life Extension Program SOC – Special Operations Capable SPMAGTF – Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force TOW – Tube-launched, Optically Tracked, Wire command-link guided missile TP-T – Target-Practice Tracer ULC – Utility Landing Craft UN – United Nations UNITAF – Unified Task Force XO – executive officer NEW VANGUARD • 185 LAV-25 The Marine Corps’