JCB marked the production of 1,000 High Mobility Engineer Excavators (HMEEs) during a ceremony at the company’s North America headquarters in Pooler. More than 900 HMEEs have been delivered to the U.S. Army and a further 80 HMEEs are in service with nine allied militaries around the world.
The JCB HMEE was developed to meet a U.S. Army requirement for a uniquely mobile and versatile backhoe loader that could travel at convoy speeds and protect military personnel. In designing its HMEE solution, JCB integrated some of the proven capabilities of its existing commercial products, including the Fastrac—the world’s fastest production tractor—and the 4CX—the largest backhoe loader available in North America.
In 2005, JCB won the first multi-year production contract for 636 machines, valued at approximately $209 million, with an additional service contract worth approximately $20 million. Subsequent contract extensions and international sales have boosted production to 1,000 machines.
“It’s a credit to the exceptional program management of the U.S. Army that the HMEE program has endured for more than a decade. It ensures that our soldiers and allies have the machines they need to succeed in military and humanitarian missions at home and abroad,” said Chris Giorgianni, JCB vice president for Government & Defense. “Everyone at JCB North America is proud to be building such a complex military machine right here in Pooler. Equally importantly, more than 60 percent of the HMEE is sourced in the U.S., with the state of Georgia being the largest contributor.
Attendees at today’s production milestone event included Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, U.S. Representative Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, Mayor Michael Lamb from the City of Pooler and Mayor Allen Brown from the City of Hinesville. U.S. Army officials were also present, including Tim Goddette, program executive officer for Combat Support & Combat Service Support, Major General Quintas, Commanding General of the Third Infantry Division based at Fort Stewart, and Brigadier General Simmons, Commander of the Georgia Army National Guard.
The HMEE has a top speed of 60 mph, allowing it to travel with military convoys on- and off-road. The HMEE is also certified for military transport on ships, rail and aircraft, and for airdrop operations. Full suspension, four-wheel drive and four-wheel steer deliver exceptional off-road performance and maneuverability. The HMEE is the versatile solution for a range of for military and humanitarian missions, including earthmoving, fortification construction, route proving and clearance. The HMEE is available in various configurations to include an armored specification.