Hurricane Harvey has shaken the state of Texas, with unprecedented flooding and the resulting damage. There was thus an urgent need for rescue operations of the marooned people and for this purpose, one of the most potent Marine vehicles for assaulting enemy beach heads, the Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV), has been pressed into service.

This marine vehicle has significantly facilitated the rescue of victims of the flooding in the aftermath of the hurricane. The Marine Amphibious Assault Vehicles are typically carried by an assault ship and dropped off close to a beach head for an invasion. The defense ministry has pressed two assault vehicles into service along with 56 marines, and more are headed to Texas via the assault ship Kearsarge.

These vehicles are assisting the Galveston, Texas Fire Department in search and rescue operations.

The AAVs offer a great assistance after the hurricane which has already taken nine lives, and vast areas of Houston and surrounding areas remain flooded. More than 2,000 people have already been rescued according to various reports.

AAV’s help out

The AAV Company is based in Galveston and responded immediately. Many other army units are on standby duty including the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion in San Antonio, Texas, which has five rigid hulled inflatable boats, Humvees, and 53 soldiers. Two units of the Marine light helicopter UH-1 Yankee gunships have also remained on standby for rescue operations. Along with the helicopters, the AAV's are assaulting carriers and have armor plating and carry defensive weaponry like automatic grenade launchers and machine guns, to give covering fire to troops who attack a beach head.

They have been in use with the Marines since 1972 and have been seen combat in Iraq, the Falkland’s war, the Invasion of Grenada, and Somalia.

The hurricane which has flooded vast areas is a national challenge, and 30,000 personnel of the Army National Guard are awaiting orders to deploy in the affected areas. Texas governor Greg Abbott has already mobilized the entire Texas guard, which has close to 12,000 personnel.

Effect of the hurricane

The AAV’s are potent weapons of assault with both the US army and the marines. These can move through water logged areas and dry land and can carry a dozen soldiers. They are an excellent tool to counter enemy fire while assaulting a beach head. Luckily these AAVs were available for the rescue efforts, and they have come in handy to help the beleaguered people marooned after the flooding in the aftermath of the storm. The hurricane and its aftermath have led to the governor declaring a curfew, to avoid people’s homes being looted. This curfew is a sensible step, but it will be some time before normalcy is restored.