February 12, 2009
CAMP BEUHRING, Kuwait - The temperatures in the middle East get pretty high. When temperatures reach the 130s during the day, the heat can be lethal.
When "heat" training is mentioned, it's not the weather.
To prevent injuries and death due to accidents or rollovers, Garryowen Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, have been undergoing HMMWV Egress Activity Training.
While Iraq's terrain is not a land of rocky, cave-filled mountains like Afghanistan, Iraq certainly has its share of rugged terrain. Humvees are well suited to it, but they have their limitations. This is especially true when they have added armor which protects crewmembers from sniper fire and roadside bombs.
The increased protection on the body, especially on the turret, gives the vehicle a much higher center of gravity, making it top heavy and more susceptible to rollovers.This can be especially dangerous when operating around water, where the possibility of drowning after becoming trapped inside an inverted humvee becomes a reality.
After viewing films detailing the importance of following safety measures, Soldiers get the opportunity to exit a vehicle after undergoing a 180 degree roll. Even though the rollover in a simulated vehicle takes place slowly and along a smooth axis, exiting an overturned humvee proved to be no easy feat.
It is especially difficult for the gunner, whose position in the turret does not allow for a seat belt. During a rollover the gunner has to be secured by the other four crewmembers in the vehicle. If executed properly, rollover measures prevent injury and loss of life.