Machines, Materiel and Munitions from the Human-Covenant Conflict, 2525 - Present
M274 ULTRA-LIGHT ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE
Excerpt from long-term, in-field interview with the soldiers of E2-BAG/1/7.
M274 ULATV “Mongoose”
Top speed: 60 mph / 96 kph
Mpg: Between 45 and 65 (depending on load)
Power plant: 1000cc liquid-cooled, longitudinally mounted, four-stroke, hydrogen-injected ICE
Weight: 896 lbs / 406 kg
The M274 Ultra-light All-terrain Vehicle provides an alternate means of transporting messages, documents, and light cargo between units. It may also be used to transport forward observers, reconnaissance personnel and sniper teams. Its proven versatility has made it a vital asset to field commanders when used as an alternate means of communication.
Overall soldiers are very appreciative and even fond of this asset. They believe the vehicle could benefit from greater power and the ability to tow a trailer. They would also like to be able to mount a crew-served weapon for personal protection.
“(The M274) is pretty nimble for its size; add to that the fact that it can do ninety plus kilo papa hotel over uneven terrain and you’ve got the ultimate commando hot rod.”
“Speed is the only protection this vehicle provides; it is unarmored, noisy, and prone to roll-over. It demands a level of skill from its operator that is impossible to expect from the rank and file during combat conditions. Those not qualified as expert need not apply.”
“That thing will go from zero to thirty in three seconds on anything short of snow covered ice.”
“The M274 doesn’t have a radio of its own, isn’t equipped with GPS, it doesn’t even have any gauges. The only piece of equipment more primitive is the crate it ships in.”
“The first thing everybody does is yank the front cargo cage – if you were to carry anything on it your forward visibility would be obstructed out to about six meters – that and less weight equals more speed… anyway it’s the first thing everybody does.”
“It’s a super versatile ATV in the tradition of the Sperry FCMMagLEV and Willys Jeep; without the former’s vulnerable drivetrain or the latter’s innards-rupturing suspension.”
“If they’re not gonna give us armor they should at least give us a mounted weapon. And you should be able to tow a trailer with it. And, god forbid, you try to ford bodies of water more than seven feet deep.”
“The M274’s range is excellent, and that’s even before you consider that you can double or triple its range that without severely impacting its max load – just a couple of jerrys of slop¹ and a carbon feeler.”
“Some fellas piss and moan about the M274’s lack of offensive capability, but it’s not meant to be an AFV! Still; with a brave fella riding pillion you should be able to put out enough disencouragement
to break contact with all but the most bloodthirsty bravo kilo.”
“The (M274) is definitely the most Buddhist land-based motive system in the UNSC’s arsenal… I’ll just let that sit with you for a while.”
Despite its size and limited offensive capabilities, the Mongoose is instrumental in many quick-striking strategies. It is decidedly difficult to damage in battle because of its speed and maneuverability delivered by its forgiving suspension and E-brake. Coupled with its speed, the capability to power-slide through turns gives the Mongoose unparalleled maneuverability on the battlefield. Drivers familiar with the M12 LRV Warthog should be able to easily transition into the Mongoose once they become familiar with its speed.
While susceptible to small-arms fire, the Mongoose is generally too quick to be affected by it. The Mongoose’s biggest foe on the battlefield will likely be the Spartan Laser. The Laser’s three second warm-up can make all the difference between a kill and a wasted shot, however. Specifically on big, hilly terrains like those found on Valhalla, the three seconds can give you enough time to over a hill, behind a base or behind cover of some other sort. The emergency brake on the Mongoose also helps you evade the Spartan Laser, if you’re able to time it properly. If they don’t see it coming, a slide in one direction or the other can help to evade the blast. As soon as you see the little red beam following you (and if you’re near enough, you’ll hear the weapon heating up), it’s wise to count off a second and then swerve the hell out of way to make as difficult a target as possible.
The Mongoose’s primary use is as an objective ferry. While you can use it to branch out quickly and gain control of key areas, ultimately the brass believes that the Mongoose’s most appealing trait is its ability to carry the driver and a passenger holding an objective. A driver and passenger can go from base to base or two assailants can grab a Mongoose laying around at the enemy base to transport the flag back to their home base.
Example - Valhalla CTF
Located at each base station on Valhalla are two Mongoose units. In a typical encounter, both might be ignored initially while your team takes off on foot, through the Mancannon
or even in a Banshee. Ignoring them is a rookie mistake however, especially in objective-based scenarios. While attempting to capture say, an enemy flag, sending out two Mongoose riders with passengers can be a brilliant tactical move.
Head through the narrow river gully, or up through the rocks (the Mongoose is slim and agile and can fit through gaps that would stop a Hog dead) and head straight at their base. Rear passengers both exit Mongoose simultaneously at the east and west sides of the enemy base and hop up over the wall to grab the flag. By the time one of them makes it back over the wall, one vehicle can have safely looped around the base for a pick up right there, or alternatively, the other ‘Goose can head straight back to the Mancannon
landing spot and pick up the flag carrier there.
Example- High Ground 1 Flag
Situated behind the command center within the base at High Ground are three Mongoose units. While defending one’s flag, the boldest of squads may actually open their protective gate. All three Mongoose vehicles will come screaming out from behind it to gain control of the map in a surprise assault. Send one Mongoose, with or without passenger, to each area of interest outside the base. Striking with quick and overwhelming force is the key, simply running down targets or snatching and grabbing the items that you want and returning to the base with due haste.
The surprise assault should take the enemy off-guard and with any luck they won’t be prepared to defend against it. The strike is designed to detract from the opposing force’s offensive capability and this will be accomplished even if only two of the three Mongooses achieve their task. By the time the enemy has a chance to regroup and counter, the Mongoose vehicles will be long gone.
Example- Valhalla Slayer
Again, in each base of Valhalla is a pair of Mongoose vehicles. While other vehicles spawn at the bases (currently Warthogs, Banshees and Wraiths) it is often smartest to take a Mongoose or two out into the field to establish an early foothold in the battlefield. The middle of Valhalla is an important area to control and sending Mongoose vehicles out to control the area by the downed Pelican and/or the turret across the stream from the Pelican can set the tone for the battle.
Once control of the middle of the field is established, you have an opportunity to bring up the support and assault vehicles. Station the Wraith on top of the hill and use the Banshee to cover it and counter their Banshee. A Warthog could charge out around this time and go on the offensive at or around the enemy base. A sniper should also be able to move up to the middle of the map while the vehicles dominate and help to pin down the enemy at their base.
1 Slop is military slang for Nanoreagent Hydrocarbots - a suspension of nanomachines that renders nearly all carbon heavy matter into usable fuel for the UNSC’s ubiquitous internal combustion powerplants.