Just 22 days after the Marine Corps lifted a full pause on waterborne amphibious combat vehicle (ACV) operations, limited restrictions on their operations have been reinstated following another training incident at Camp Pendleton Thursday night.
An ACV manned by three Marines assigned to the Assault Amphibian School overturned in the surf area after the crew reported a mechanical malfunction during a training operation, according to a Marine Corps press release. .
This training accident occurred less than three months after two Marine Corps ACVs fell victim to high surf conditions that hit the San Diego County coastline in late July.
In the July incident, one ACV “tipped over on its side in the surf zone and another ACV became disabled” during a training exercise, 2nd Lt. Noah Richardson shared with NBC 7 in a press release prepared.
No Marines were injured in any of the three incidents.
The two incidents in July prompted Lt. Gen. David Furness, deputy commandant of the Marine Corps responsible for overseeing policy and operations, to order a pause in all waterborne ACV operations.
“A pause in ACV maritime operations will allow us time to investigate, learn from this event, and ensure our assault amphibian community remains ready to support our nation,” Furness said in a statement. July.
The July incidents also triggered another investigation by the US Marine Corps, which would include an investigation into the use of these style vehicles during periods of high waves, media officer 2nd Lieutenant Noah said. Richardson.
The July break only included training on the water, allowing training with the ACVs to continue on land.
“The ACV must operate in conditions up to Sea State 3,” said Pentagon-based US Marine Corps Media Officer Capt. Ryan Bruce. “Furthermore, it is capable of transiting both out to sea and inshore through a surf zone characterized by plunging 6-foot waves.”
The interim guidelines included an operating limit for VCAs at “a significant breaker height of 4 feet”, referring to the wave heights in which they would be permitted to operate.
The Marine Corps shared, however, that following the release of new interim guidance to “enhance operational safety,” Marine Corps ACVs have been cleared to resume maritime operations on the high seas, effective September 22. .
“The interim maximum surf conditions are conservative and derived from existing safe operating surf conditions for U.S. Navy and Marine Corps landing craft, and allow the service to better understand surf conditions through surf testing. vehicles underway,” a Marine Corps statement said.
These guidelines were adjusted following Thursday’s training incident as the Marine Corps “again ceases on-water operations involving transit of the surf area to allow for further testing and evaluation” .
“We are taking a deliberate and methodical approach to fielding this platform,” Furness wrote Friday of the revised guidelines, adding, “This adjustment to current guidelines ensures our Marines have the ability to train safely. and maintain their proficiency with the platform as we work. perform additional tests.
No timeline has been set for the lifting of the transit suspension of the ACV surf zone.