“Rollover! Rollover! Rollover!,” yelled the Marines of 2nd Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, while bracing themselves for the tossing and turning during a Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer Course, Jan. 7.
The purpose of the training was to teach the Marines about the dangers during Humvee rollovers and how to properly react in case they ever faced it.
“Any Marine who utilizes a vehicle like a humvee should receive this kind of training,” said Staff Sgt. Terry Carrol, the staff non-commissioned officer-in-charge for the platoon. “All the Marines were taught how to operate a vehicle; they should know how to react in the case of a roll-over.”
Before entering the HEAT, Marines were given a class showing them how the handling of Humvees, during combat operations, can lead to rollovers like those seen in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. They were taught different techniques on how to safely egress from an overturned Humvee both with and without casualties.
“I never got this training before I deployed and many injuries could have been prevented if the Marines knew how to properly protect themselves in such an event,” said Sgt. Heley Brown, an instructor for the HEAT course.
After the class, the Marines donned safety goggles, training rifles, knee pads and elbow pads before organizing into teams of four to conduct the training as a fire-team. Once in the HEAT, the trainees strapped themselves in while Sgt. Brown secured all the doors tightly from the outside.
When given the all clear that the trainees were ready, Brown began to flip the riders within the HEAT starting at 40 degrees, then 90, and ending at 180 degrees before beginning a random set of revolutions which would ultimately bring the simulator upside down.
“It felt like being on a carnival ride or the laundry in a washing machine, but at the same time I took it seriously because learning how to protect myself could one day save my life,” said Pfc. Kelsey Marion, an ammunition technician with the unit.
When the revolutions were completed the trainees began to egress from the vehicle, and once the vehicle was cleared they took a 360 degree security posture and accountability of each team member.
“Hopefully what the Marines took from this will help them save lives, and reminds them to never underestimate a Humvee because they can be just as dangerous and lethal as a bullet from a hostile,” said Brown.