Let the good times roll

Let the Good Times Roll
Let the Good Times Roll

2ndLt Gabriel Caban, student, Fox Co., The Basic School, makes his way out of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Egress Trainer at Camp Upshur on Jan. 16. The trainer teaches the Marines to maintain communication as they find a way to unlock the combat free on the doors, exit from the trainer and provide 360-degree security. Photo by LCpl Antwaun Jefferson.

2ndLt Eduardo Cascante, student, Fox Co., The Basic School, helps one of his fellow Marines, 2ndLt Gabriel Caban, out of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Egress Trainer during an simulation at Camp Upshur on Jan. 16. They must keep self-control and overcome the natural fear and panic as they participate in the simulation.

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. (January 17, 2013) "Rollover, rollover, rollover," is what Fox Co. lieutenants, at The Basic School, screamed as they bounced off the walls of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Egress Trainer at Camp Upshur on Jan. 16.

The lieutenants received some in-your-face training as they prepared for a field exercise that occurred on Jan. 17 and Friday.

"The Marines at Fox Company are coming out here in the cold weather, putting out and you can actually see the learning taking place," said Capt. Andrew Harkins, primary instructor for convoy operations, TBS. "During the debriefs, they are able to pull out many of the lessons learned and take it with them when they go out and do the FEX."

During the training, platoons cycled through; they spent 90 minutes at each station. The first station was the Convoy Simulator. The simulator had a 360 degree-view with screens that projected images of an urban area surrounding the vehicle. Throughout the simulation, the lieutenants encountered improvised explosive devices, harassing small arms fire by a sniper, unblocked attacks and a blocked ambush.

Civilian engineers controlled the issues and problems the lieutenants came across while the instructors watched from a center of command area the Instructors looked to see how much information the lieutenants retained and how they performed through immediate actions and commands.

"This was my first time in this simulator and it was very interesting and fairly realistic," said 2ndLt Phillip Thome, convoy commander during a simulation. "It created a lot of friction points that helped me and the other Marines in the exercise point out hazards in and around the convoy, and how we get rid of those points. It's like a big, scenario-based video game. This training is definitely helpful to go through before the FEX with actual Humvees."

The second station had Lane Training. During this training, the Marines could practice hooking up a Humvee with a tow bar and chains, and combat loading where the Marines would practice how they would load a Humvee with ammunition and other gear.

The last station featured the use of the Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer and the MRAP Egress Trainer.

Both trainers rocked back and forth, as the eight to 10 Marines strapped inside sat by in anticipation. Then it began to roll, sending the occupants into a rollover scenario. Now hanging upside down or on their side, they worked to unfasten their seatbelts and then assist the others. Maintaining communication, they unlocked the combat locks on the doors, exited from the trainer and provided 360-degree security.

The trainers are designed to train military members how to react during emergency egress situations. The machines reinforced the importance of seat positioning and wearing seatbelts while demonstrating the feeling of being disoriented and the effort that is required to execute rollover and emergency egress procedures.

"The Reserve Support Unit put on a good exercise. They coordinated all the training for us," Harkins said. "This training is monumental when setting the students up for success for actual field exercises."


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