Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV)

The GMV is a modified HMMWV that has been adapted for special operations use, mostly based on lessons learnt during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

Several variants, tailored to different special operations units, exist:

  • GMV-S (Special Forces) | photo
  • GMV-R (75th Ranger Regiment) | photo
  • GMV-N (Navy SEALs) | photo
  • GMV-T / GMV-SD / GMV-ST (AFSOC) | photo
  • GMV-M (MARSOC) | photo

12-man Special Forces Operational Detachment Alphas (ODA) use the GMV-S, usually crewed by 3 Green Berets, with 4 GMVs per ODA team. ODAs that specialize in the use of vehicles such as the GMV are known as Mobility or Mounted Teams.

The GMV has the following features:

  • heavier suspension
  • more rugged tires
  • improved ground clearance
  • more powerful engine
  • open bed for improved storage/access
  • winch for towing other vehicles (up to 4,200 pounds)
  • GPS navigation system

GMVs feature a set of mounts onto which various weapons can be fitted. These include:

  • M2 .50 machine guns
  • M240 7.62mm belt-fed machine guns
  • MK19/MK47 40mm grenade launchers
  • M249 SAW 5.56mm machine guns

GMVs can be fitted with smoke grenade launchers, rear and front. These tubes launch smoke canisters which airburst above and around the GMV, creating an instant smoke screen - very useful when breaking contact.

The GMV has a cruising range of up to 275 miles and ODA GMV teams may well need to operate far behind enemy lines, on their own, with only occasional re-supply from the air. Special Forces ODAs undergo extensive training in driving and maintaining the GMVs, with an emphasis on off-road handling and in-field repairs.

GMVs feature an open rear, where an enclose cabin would normally be. This flat bed area is used to store all the fuel, ammunition, rations and other supplies that the ODA's mission requires. As in the photo below, the GMV's rear might be covered with burlap/canvas in order to keep out dust and sand.

Early models of the GMV were based around the HMMWV M1025 chasis. Later models of GMVs included versions based on the M1113 HMMWV chasis. Another model, this time based on the M1165 HMMWV, can be fiited with armor kits to create an 'up-armored' GMV with additional armor plating and an optional ballistic shield around the top gunner's turret.

special forces - gmv - afghanistan
U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers of the 3rd Special Forces Group patrol through the Afghanistan countryside in a ground mobility vehicle (GMV-S). Note the M136 AT4 84mm anti-tank rocket strapped to the GMV above its right door.
U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Horace Murray


ground mobility vehicle
Green Berets ride on the side planks of a Ground Mobility Vehicle during urban comat training. Special Forces deployed to Iraq made use of up-armored GMVs during raids on urban targets. The vehicles not only acted as transport to and from the objective but could also be employed as gun platforms.
U.S. Army Photo

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