By Mr. Wayne Lovely, Military Test Plans Analyst, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command
FORT BRAGG, North Carolina – Infantry Soldiers here are testing the new Infantry Squad Vehicle to see if it allows rapid battlefield movement without having to wait on a ride or moving by foot.
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment (2-325 IN), 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division teamed up with the Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate to conduct airdrop certification testing of the ISV.
“The ISV gives Parachute Riggers the opportunity to support the Light Infantry with fast easy rigging and delivery to the drop zone,” said James Cochran, ABNSOTD test officer.
Cochran said the ISV provides mobility for a nine-Soldier Infantry squad and their equipment to move around the close battle area.
“Airdrop certification testing supports future testing requirements of a Light Infantry squad vehicle at Fort Bragg,” said Cochran.
“Testing determined the ISV is effective and suitable for Infantry squad equipped with to perform low-velocity airdrops as well as airdrops utilizing the dual row airdrop system with the ISV.”
The ISV was delivered by standard low-velocity from U.S. Air Force C-130 and C-17 aircrafts, while also being successfully delivered by standard dual row airdrop system from the C-17.
Following airdrop, Infantry Soldiers de-rigged the ISV and loaded their rucks on the roof, then drove off the platform over smooth and rough field terrain.
“Operational testing is an opportunity for test units to train hard while having the opportunity to offer their feedback to improve Army equipment,” said Maj. Cam Jordan, executive officer at ABNSOTD.
The Infantry squad and a project noncommissioned officer from ABSOTD conducted rigging, airdrops, derigged the ISV, and conducted vehicle operations of the ISV on Holland and Sicily Drop Zones from late March through late June 2021.
This capability is required across the range of military operations facing Infantry Brigade Combat Team units conducting crisis response, initial entry, and selected decisive action missions, according to Jordan.
This maneuver capability in multiple domains presents multiple dilemmas to an adversary, overloading his decision cycle and allowing the Joint Force to seize and retain their initiative.
“The ISV will be a game changer for a rifle squad,” said Jordan. “The ability to drop this in with the Soldiers will give them much greater reach and endurance to complete their mission.”
“Military Occupational Specialist 11B — Infantryman —are expected to be proficient in the performance of ground combat while using of the ISV.”
One Infantryman, Spc. Brice T. Dunahue of the 2-325 IN, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division said, “I enjoy working with the ABNSOTD. This vehicle will work well as a means of rapid insertions for an Infantry squad into all types of terrain, including urban environment.”
“The similarities to civilian vehicles will ensure training is fluid and in emergency situations can be operated by any Solider,” he added.
Other Infantryman from 2-325 IN like Pfc. Muhammad U. James, also enjoyed testing the ISV.
“The Infantry Squad Vehicle is extremely capable in operations typically fielded by your day to day Infantry squad,” said James.
“It allows for the capacity of both items and personnel required for fast, short term missions. Between its simplistic maneuverability and low rate of fuel consumption, the ISV is a vehicle capable of executing missions quickly and effectively, with minimal resources”.
The ISV is being tested for operating over improved and unimproved terrain once being airdropped from an aircraft. According to Sgt. 1st Class Abdiel Kittler, an ABNSOTD, test NCO.
“Operational testing is an opportunity for test units to train hard while having the opportunity to offer their feedback to improve Army equipment,” said Kittler.
“The testing required takes time, skill, technical knowhow and teamwork, all of which the personnel of the ABNSOTD provides.”
“Operational Testing is about Soldiers,” said Col. Brad Mock, ABNSOTD Director.
“It is about making sure the systems developed are effective in a Soldier’s hands and suitable for the environments in which Soldiers train and fight.”
About the U.S. Army Operational Test Command:
The Fort Bragg, North Carolina-based ABNSOTD plans, executes, and reports on operational tests and field experiments of Airborne and Special Operations Forces equipment, procedures, aerial delivery and air transportation systems to provide key operational data for the continued development and fielding of doctrine, systems, and equipment to the Warfighter.
The U.S. Army Operational Test Command is based at West Fort Hood (Now designated Fort Cavazos), Texas, and its mission ensures systems developed are effective in a Soldier’s hands and suitable for the environments in which they train and fight. Test unit Soldiers provide feedback by offering input to improve upon existing and future systems Soldiers will ultimately use to train and fight.