Marines Show Off Latest Military Technology - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/07/05

Marines Show Off Latest Military Technology

It's a chance for United States Marines show off the latest in military technology and on Saturday that's exactly what they did on the beach in Gulfport.

Marines took part in an amphibious assault training exercise that helps train new recruits and shows us how this new technology plays a critical role in time of war.

"Feels like driving any other truck except you're sitting higher off the ground," said Marine Alan Newmann.

Newmann calls the amphibious assault vehicle sophisticated technology made user friendly.

"It's nothing but push the buttons and go. It's an automatic so you can't mess anything up," he said.

To help more battalion members be able to handle these machines, Marines set up a series of exercises Saturday in Gulfport.

"Basically what we're doing is taking them out in the Mississippi Sound training the Marines on how to launch them, how to recover them, how to transport troops," said Gary Bergosh. "If there are any problems out in the water, how to recover themselves."

Marines say these vehicles play a critical role in time of war.

"Very versatile," said Bergosh. "Very crucial to the Marine Corps being an amphibious unit. This is one of the backbones of the Marine Corps. It's how we get our men and our Marines from the ship to the shore and then inland so they can fight."

"In the war in Iraq you can actually use them inland. They've gone all the way to Baghdad."

Bill Clemmens spent eight years in the Air Force back in the 1960's.

He and others looked on amazed by the efficiency of modern military equipment.

"Being out in the water with machines that size," said Clemmens. "It's something that I've never seen before."

Navy reservist Beau Tewelow said "I wouldn't want to be the enemy I'll tell you that seeing a bunch of these things pulling up."

Amphibious assault vehicles can go fast as 8 knots on water and about 55 miles per hour on land.

"Right now we're in the midst of procuring a new vehicle that will actually go much faster," said Bergosh. "Maybe 40 knots on the water and almost 75 to 80 miles per hour on the land. It will have a new weapons systems. It's going to be state of the art."

Marines expect the new version of the amphibious assault vehicles to come out in 2010.

By Danielle Thomas

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