According to recent report on TaskandPurpose.com, Army leadership is concerned about their new Joint Light Tactical Vehicles being … too comfortable. In replacing the Humvee, one of the biggest upgrades was to the suspension system. However, in an effort to improve handling and reduce maintenance needs, some are worried that soldier readiness could be compromised.
In the words of Major Pete Bogart, as reported by Task and Purpose, “… the ride is so smooth it brings its own concerns. Leadership wants soldiers to remember that they're in a tactical vehicle not a Nissan Altima."
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about upscale upholstery, personal climate zones and the latest sound system technology. Rather, these improvements mean soldiers can roll over rough terrain that might dip 12-18 inches at normal speeds without feeling every bump running up and down their spine and through every joint in their legs. But that was just my experience with the infamous Humvee.
To the higher-ups point, not feeling as much impact could lead to forgetting about cargo that might be in tow, which is not outfitted with quite the same suspension.
But getting back to some of the additional creature comforts that have been implemented. The new JLTVs do provide cup holders, and the seats are adjustable, which might help avoiding banging knees on metal frames. The seats also offer cut-outs to accommodate flak jackets, body armor and CamelBaks.
The new vehicles are currently undergoing field testing with no announced date for use in combat zones.