[Mark] Smith, who was commissioned to design this Severe Off-Road Track (SORT) and has been associated with the legendary Rubicon Trail since the start of the Jeepers Jamboree in 1952. He's built 4x4 courses for DaimlerChrysler, as well as for other purposes, including military training.
This two-mile-long track on a 20-acre plot of ground is unique in a number of ways. It'll be used by both Army and Marine Special Forces for training purposes, as well as a permanent demonstration and evaluation track for military personnel, members of Congress and the Pentagon, and representatives of Federal Government agencies. The goal: to evaluate commercial vehicles outfitted for military and other back-country duty in an area within the national capitol region. The track was built with the help of the Navy Seabees for the new COMmercially BAsed Tactical Truck (COMBATT) program.
The legend of the "Jeep" 4x4 began over 60 years ago when automotive manufacturers across America were challenged to design a compact, lightweight, highly capable vehicle for use by the armed forces. The successful Willys MB sprang from that development challenge. Since then, the CJ-2A and other models worked their way into the hearts of civilians, while new military Jeep vehicles followed. Notably, the M-38, M-38Al, and M-170 answered the call to action in all types of terrain, providing decades of dedicated service. Now, Jeep returns to its roots with a new military machine.
The Jeep Wrangler TJL mixes modern automotive technology with some of the same attributes the troops valued in the original Willys MB. An up-to-date take on the original "go-anywhere, do-anything" utility vehicle, the new TJL (long-wheel-based TJ) has been designed to meet the most challenging tasks and perform in the most adverse conditions. Its first tour of duty will be in Egypt.