C&E delivers ultra-light combat vehicles to paratroopers

By Jason Kaneshiro DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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A select group of paratroopers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina will soon have a new vehicle provided by Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support to increase their mobility.

DLA Troop Support’s Construction and Equipment supply chain awarded a delivery order for ultra-light combat vehicles for the 82nd Airborne Division’s Global Response Force in late June.

The vehicles will provide the GRF with a mobility platform that can be air-dropped with them, said Army Lt. Col. Joe Buccino, 82nd Airborne Division public affairs officer.

“What drove the requirement was the need to add flexibility, speed and mobility to the Global Response Force once it’s entered into an area,” Buccino said.

Buccino said that dismounted paratroopers can only move as fast as their feet can carry them without the capability provided by the vehicles.

“If they have to move quickly to a follow-on objective, they’re limited without that,” Buccino said.

The GRF is a U.S. military force that is in a high state of readiness and is able deploy anywhere in the world on short notice. That duty status rotates among the division’s three brigades every eight months.

Military-type, commercial modified vehicles, like those delivered to Fort Bragg, are supported by C&E’s Heavy Equipment Procurement Program.

“We have several manufacturers on long-term contract offering these military-type vehicles,” said Rob Spadaro, HEPP supervisor and program manager. “The ultra-light combat vehicles are basically a modified version of a commercial line.”

The 82nd Airborne Division has purchased vehicles through HEPP in the past, Spadaro said.

Other vehicles procured for military combat missions that fall under HEPP include forklifts, cranes, utility vehicles and fire trucks. The vehicles may be modified to include a rifle holder, heavy duty frame, ability to accept military standard fuels and a tan or olive drab paint color.

Another model of ultra-light combat vehicle has been used by the division during training exercises since last year. The ultra-light combat vehicles are still in the assessment phase and no decision has been made yet if they’ll see continued deployment and if they’ll order more.