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New 80-passenger systems replace old "cattle cars" for moving troops. (News).

New 80-passenger vans will replace the decades-old "cattle cars" used to transport soldiers in basic combat training at Fort Benning, Georgia; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Called a personnel carrier van, the new transportation system consists of a tractor and an 80-passenger trailer that can be air-conditioned or heated and has several different safety features.

Far from being a luxury item, the vans are a necessity in basic combat training and one station unit training, according to Staff Sergeant Randy Cheadle. "Training ranges can be 15 to 30 miles away from training barracks," he said. "You can't march new privates that far. You have to condition them before they can take long road marches." Three of the new vans can move an entire training company.

Fort Leonard Wood received a prototype of the van in June 2001 and has used the van to move troops to locations on and off post, with some trips as far as 75 miles one way. During fiscal year 2003, Fort Benning will receive four of the new vans and Forts Leonard Wood and Sill will receive three each. Ten more vans are scheduled for production in fiscal year 2004. The vans are built by Lifeline Shelter Systems of Columbus, Ohio, with subcontractors Dado Trailer Corporation of Pocahontas, Arkansas, and ALLVAN of Nashville, Tennessee.
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Publication:Army Logistician
Date:Mar 1, 2003
Words:222
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