MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT --
Highly qualified aircraft rescue firefighting Marines from
around the Marine Corps gathered to evaluate a new, improved firefighting
vehicle Oct. 30.
The newer firefighting platform is being evaluated for
possible use across the Marine Corps.
According to Chris Connell, the project officer for the P-19
replacement program, the new model is safer and more responsive.
“This new equipment is more reliable than the old P-19,”
said Connell. “It has a better engine, a smoother ride and an updated computer system.”
The new truck’s computer enhanced driving system helps
drivers by compensating for climate conditions and alerts drivers to unsafe
According to Connell, the larger engine of the new P-19
allows it to reach speeds up to 50 mph. The increased speed and maneuverability
will allow ARFF Marines to better respond to emergencies.
Additionally the P-19 replacement is equipped with a longer
hose and a ladder that make it better equipped to maneuver around newer and
larger aircraft like the MV-22B Osprey. The upgraded P-19 weighs 44,000 lbs fully
loaded with 1,000 gallons of water and 130 gallons of firefighting foam. The
improved water and foam capacity will reduce the amount of time ARFF crew
members require to resupply the truck during an emergency, said Master Gunnery
Sgt. John Lavoie, ARFF training analyst with the Training and Education Standards
According Lavoie, the updated version of the P-19 was built with
components that are found in other proven military vehicles. This provides both
a more versatile vehicle and a less complex structure for P-19 mechanics.
“This truck has extended capabilities that improve the
readiness of our military occupation,” said Lavoie, “We now have a deployable
vehicle that is ready for anything, from aircraft crash fire rescue to
The most qualified ARFF Marines from across the Marine Corps
were chosen to take part in the performance evaluation of the new P-19. These
Marines were selected based on their proficiency as ARFF Marines.
“Marines have worked on the replacement program for years to
ensure the new P-19 meets all Marine Corps standards,” said Connell. “There are
currently two new P-19 fire trucks in the Marine Corps with an expected 164 in
the future. These trucks took approximately five years to obtain and are going
through final evaluations now. These evaluations are being conducted with the highest
safety precautions to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”