The US Air Force (USAF) has conducted the first operational mission with an advanced Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) near Harrisburg in Nebraska.

The event saw the security forces airmen staff sergeant Jeffrey Daniels and senior airman Zion Hill from the 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron (MSFS) operate the vehicle.

The successful deployment comes in line with Air Force Global Strike Command’s (AFGSC) modernisation efforts aimed at improving the safety and security of the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

It marks a significant milestone for the AFGSC, which has been working to upgrade its capabilities and safeguard the nation’s nuclear arsenal, the statement said.

90th Missile Security Operations Squadron officer in charge of logistics and sustainment first lieutenant Joseph Struzik said: “It is a night and day difference. When you climb inside a Humvee you are walking into a historical box.

“You will see old analogue gauges, a classic steering wheel, a centre console with a radio. Whereas the JLTV gives defenders a better tool to perform their nuclear security duties.”

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The JLTV is a new armoured truck designed to replace the ageing Humvee.

It offers enhanced safety and protection, but also requires extensive training for operators to ensure their safety and proficiency.

The vehicle is expected to be released for general use soon.

90th MSFS commander lieutenant colonel William Brokaw said: “The JLTV is an extremely robust and versatile vehicle, offering improved point of view, responsive suspension systems, increased power and modern safety features.

“Many of the defenders who will operate the vehicle, were born after the (Humvee) entered service and are anxious to take advantage of all the new capabilities.”