• Soldiers from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, brace themselves inside the simulated humvee, while  Odessa, Texas, native Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Weisheit, the operations platoon sergeant for 1st ACB, tilts the humvee to its critical limit during a HMMWV Egress Assistance Trainer class, at Fort Hood, Texas, Feb. 9. The HEAT program allows Soldiers to experience what it's like to be flipped in a humvee, said Master Sgt. Blake Kennedy, the fires operations sergeant for 1st ACB. The trainer can flip Soldiers completely upside down.

    Soldiers from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st...

    Soldiers from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, brace themselves inside the simulated humvee, while Odessa, Texas, native Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Weisheit, the operations platoon sergeant for 1st ACB, tilts the humvee to its critical...

  • After flipping a couple of times, El Paso, Texas, native 2nd Lt. Nora Soto, the strength manager for the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, climbs out of the overturned HMMWV Egress Assistance Trainer with a little help from Chyenne, Wyo., native Maj. Bryan Woodcock, the S-2 officer in charge for 1st ACB, during rollover training at Fort Hood, Texas, Feb. 9. The HEAT class is meant to familiarize Soldiers with the feeling of being flipped in a humvee so that they are better equipped with skills to get out quickly and safely, said Shreveport, La., native Master Sgt. Blake Kennedy, the fires operations sergeant, for 1st ACB.

    After flipping a couple of times, El Paso...

    After flipping a couple of times, El Paso, Texas, native 2nd Lt. Nora Soto, the strength manager for the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, climbs out of the overturned HMMWV Egress Assistance Trainer with a little help from Chyenne, Wyo...

FORT HOOD, Texas - The screams were mixed with laughter, but there was one word that could be easily discerned amongst the clatter: "rollover."

Soldiers from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, mounted up on spinning simulators of the Army's High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, a vehicle used commonly for ground travel in Iraq.

This simulator, called the HMMWV Egress Assistance Trainer, was developed in order to give Soldiers the experience of what it feels like to roll over in a humvee, said Master Sgt. Blake Kennedy, the fires operations sergeant for the 1st ACB "Warriors."

The combat vet has been in many situations where his humvee has been at the critical limit just before rolling over but has never actually been in a rollover accident, said Kennedy, of Shreveport, La.

"This is good training, but as far as the real thing, there's nothing that can really prepare you for what the real things going to feel like," Kennedy said. "We can just give you the training to know what to do once it happens."

Which is exactly the point of the HEAT program, he said.

Although the training was about serious business, most Soldiers couldn't keep from smiling and laughing, but that was fine with Kennedy.

"The Soldiers are having a lot of fun; we try to make it fun ... because if you don't then it's just boring and they just go away with nothing, but if you make it fun, they tend to learn," he said.

One of the Soldiers who had fun was Pfc. Timothy Edmonds, a paralegal for the Warriors

"(The training) wasn't too bad, but it wasn't at combat speed - it could always be worse," said Edmonds of Elmwood, Tenn.

"It would help give you a better insight to what it would feel like to be flipped over in a humvee," he said.

The training, not lasting much more than 20 minutes, is quick and to the point, but Kennedy said he believes the Soldiers walk away with critical training.

"It helps save lives," he said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16