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Subordinate units

Subordinate units

3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion is currently composed of 6 companies located at Camp Pendleton and 1 reinforced company located at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.
Name     Location
Alpha Company     Camp Pendleton
Bravo Company     Camp Pendleton
Charlie Company     Camp Pendleton
Delta Company (REIN)     Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms
Echo Company     Camp Pendleton
Fox Company     Camp Pendleton
Headquarters & Services Company     Camp Pendleton



Land the surface assault element of the landing force and their equipment in a single lift from assault shipping during amphibious operations to inland objectives; to conduct mechanized operations and related combat support in subsequent operations ashore. The specific Mission Essential Tasks List (METL) includes:

Preparing combat ready units for deployment and operations in support of the 1st Marine Division
Preparing combat ready units for deployment and operations in support of Maritime Pre-Positioned Forces (MPF) to any AOR as directed.
Providing sustained amphibious and ground mechanized support to the assault elements of the 1st Marine Division as well as other combat support as directed during subsequent operations ashore.
Providing support to the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion and other 1st Marine Division units in the clearing of lanes through minefields and other obstacles during amphibious operations and in support of subsequent operations ashore.
Preparing combat ready units for deployment with designated Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU) and deployment to Okinawa as part of the Unit Deployment Program (UDP) in support of 3rd Marine Division

3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion

3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion (3rd AABn) is one of two active duty assault amphibian battalions in the United States Marine Corps. The battalion’s primary weapon system is the Amphibious Assault Vehicle or AAV. The AAV is a 26-ton armored vehicle that carries up to 18 combat-loaded Marines and is armed with the UGWS (UpGunned Weapons Station), which mounts a .50 cal (12.7 mm) M2HB machine gun and a Mk-19 40 mm grenade launcher. The AAV is the only armored vehicle in the U.S. inventory that is fully capable of operations both on land and in the ocean. The battalion is part of the 1st Marine Division and the I Marine Expeditionary Force. The unit is based in Camp Pendleton, California.



On 3 April 2013, the Lockheed Havoc successfully completed amphibious testing as part of its evaluation for the MPC program. Trials were conducted at Camp Pendleton with the vehicle loaded to its full combat weight. The Havoc demonstrated its resistance to water penetration and ability to negotiate all surf and wave conditions while accommodating a full complement of Marine Corps battle gear for the crew. It maintained 100 percent operational readiness throughout the test.



IVECO Defence Vehicles teamed with BAE Systems Global Combat Systems to offer its SUPERAV 8×8 amphibious armored personnel carrier.

In 2007, Lockheed Martin teamed up with Patria to offer the Patria AMV

In August 2012, the Marines awarded development contracts to four companies for their vehicles: the Lockheed Martin Havoc, the BAE Systems Superav, the SAIC Terrex, and an unspecified General Dynamics vehicle. Winners each received $3.5 million contracts for a demonstration and study vehicle for water performance evaluation, survivability testing, and an analysis of human factors and stowage capacity starting in fall 2012.


The Marine Corps deferred Milestone A (MS A) for the Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC) program by two years to FY10. The two-year investment period allowed for the maturation of Government Furnished Equipment and armoring technologies the Marine Corps plans to integrate onto the vehicles once produced.

In addition, an MPC Technology Demonstrator vehicle effort will be initiated to inform CDD development on achievable capabilities and integration risks at the Nevada Automotive Test Center. This is the location that hosted the Combat Tactical Vehicle (CTV) test bed for the JLTV program. The MPC-Technology Demonstrator (MPC-TD) vehicle will address all major functional areas and specifically the following:

Mobility (Powerpack, drivetrain, suspension system)
Survivability (Weight affects mobility)
Electrical power generation, management and distribution
Vehicle Health Monitoring

The initial Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) included “legacy” Stryker and the MPC AOA identified a medium armored personnel carrier as the solution to the MPC requirement. The MPC Program Office is pursuing jointness with the Army and including Stryker MOD in the revised MPC AoA. It is scheduled to begin Engineering, Manufacturing and Development in 2012, with initial operational capability in 2018. The acquisition objective is approximately 630 vehicles.



The MPC will possess a balance between the performance, protection and payload attributes and shall be designed to accomplish a broad array of missions across the range of military operations in a variety of operating environments in which expeditionary operations take place.

The MPC family of vehicles will consist of a basic vehicle and two role-specific variants.


The MPC-Personnel will be the basic vehicle, two of which carry and support a reinforced rifle squad of 17 marines. Each vehicle would carry 8-9 combat-equipped marines and a two-man crew. This meets the need to transport more marine infantrymen than the existing Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) or Humvee platforms while providing greater protection.


The MPC-Command will be equipped to serve as a mobile command-echelon/ fire-support coordination center for the infantry battalion headquarters.


The MPC-Recovery will be the maintenance and recovery variant of the MPC.

Marine Personnel Carrier

The Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC) is a wheeled armored personnel carrier under development for acquisition by the United States Marine Corps.


The United States Marine Corps is preparing to acquire a new fleet of wheeled armored vehicles to meet the attributes and metrics of the Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC) requirement. The MPC will serve as a medium weight personnel carrier and complements the capabilities offered by the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV – light weight personnel carrier category) and the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV – heavy weight personnel carrier category). This triad of capabilities EFV – MPC – JLTV comprises the USMC ground mobility portfolio and the means by which expeditionary, scalable, and networked armored protected seats will be provided to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force in the future.

The Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC) will serve as a medium lift personnel carrier and complements the capabilities offered by the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) for light lift purposes and the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) for heavy lift purposes. The MPC will provide landward lift to infantry battalions. One infantry battalion can be lifted by one MPC company along with the infantry battalion’s organic wheeled assets. Two MPC-Personnel Carriers can lift a reinforced Infantry squad. An Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) has already been approved and the Capability Development Document (CDD) is in development.

The MPC is a new capability that will be a multi-wheeled, armored personnel carrier designed to operate across the range of military operations but focused on an irregular warfare operating environment characterized by operations in constrained and urban terrain. Required to carry 8-9 combat loaded Marines and 2-man crew, the MPC will enable high-speed land maneuver as well as substantial ballistic protection to embarked Marines.



A request for information (RFI) was issued to industry on 17 February 2011. The document outlined expected requirements and asked industry for informal design proposals and program methodology feedback. Responses were due by 22 April 2011. An industry day was held on 6 April 2011.

In August 2012, General Dynamics was awarded an ACV Hull Survivability Demonstrator contract for the design, fabrication, and test support of a full-scale hull to demonstrate crew-protection technologies. In November 2012, they conducted simulated mine-blast tests on their ACV ballistic hull design, successfully meeting mine-blast survivability requirements. Work will conclude by May 2013 and will be used to refine requirements for effective protection against under-vehicle threats.

In April 2013, DARPA awarded a $1 million prize to a team in the Fast Adaptable Next-Generation Ground Vehicle (FANG) contest. The team beat out 1,000 other competitors to submit their design for a drivetrain for the Amphibious Combat Vehicle. The FANG initiative is to demonstrate a way to procure working systems better than the current defense aquisition process, which frequently leads to delays and cost overruns. The Marines are in charge of the ACV program, so there is no guarantee that the Darpa-crowdsourced mobility drivetrain will result in a vehicle bought by the Corps.

The three basic variants include the Squad Maneuver/Fighting Vehicle, the Command and Control Vehicle, and the Recovery and Maintenance Vehicle.

Design requirements

Design requirements

The ACV should have countermeasures able to contend with a full range of direct fire, indirect fire, and land mine threats. Visible and thermal signature reduction technologies will also be utilized. Modular protection can be applied as necessary.

The vehicle must have the capability to transition from water to ground operations without tactical pause. It must be able to maneuver with the M1A1 Abrams in a mechanized task force. It must have the capability to destroy combat vehicles similar to itself. Weapons must have sufficient range to engage targets from a standoff distance. Weapons will apply precision fire from a stabilized system. It must provide direct fire support for dismounted infantry in an attack.

The ACV must be able to self-deploy from an amphibious assault ship at least 12 miles from shore with 17 Marines aboard. It has to be able to travel 8 knots or faster through seas with waves up to three feet. The vehicle is to be operational between 2020 and 2022, with 573 vehicles planned to be procured.