Iraqi vehicles used stateside to train soldiers against IED attacks.
The Army is using Iraqi light-armored vehicles (ILAVs) in the United States to train explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) Soldiers who will use the joint EOD rapid response vehicle (JERRV) while deployed. Since JERRVs are not available for training in the United States, an effort by the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) provides ILAVs as training surrogates--or JERRV surrogate vehicles (JSVs).
The ILAV is the Iraqi Army's less expensive version of the mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle which uses the same platform as the JERRV. The ILAV does not meet Department of Defense (DOD) explosive protection and armor standards. So, DOD has approved the vehicle for training purposes only, and the ILAVs are becoming more widely available for predeployment training.
Frank Vigus, Program Manager-Equipment for the JIEDDO Center of Excellence (JCOE) at Fort Irwin, California, said that, until March 2007, JERRVs were available for training, but they have since been identified as theater requirements. Needing a substitute, Vigus found the ILAV--developed by Force Protection, Incorporated, and BAE Land Systems for the Iraqi Army--through Foreign Military Sales.
Vigus said the ILAV fills the gaps left by "theater demands, production constraints or competing requirements." He added that surrogates provide the warfighter with "the form, fit, feel, and function of 'realistic and comparable' systems, while freeing production systems to combatant commanders."
The Army has 35 JSVs based at various training sites, where they are being used for operator and maintenance familiarization. "Once real systems become available these will complement the real systems," said Vigus, who explained that JCOE is working with other program managers to incorporate radios, vehicle optic sensor systems, and other equipment to make the training experience even more realistic.