Highlander Brigade Soldiers fire weapons, roll-over in HEAT
May 10, 2009
- Soldiers from 4th BCT, 1AD conduct weapons and vehicle safety training in Iraq
- Soldiers are deploying to Iraq
- Soldiers participated in HEAT and MRAP roll-over simulators at Camp Buehring
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - Soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division conducted U.S. Army Central Command directed training in Kuwait to prepare for their onward movement to Iraq.
The training focused on skills Soldiers require to remain safe over the upcoming year. It included: weapons familiarization, vehicular safety, and Improvised Explosive Device awareness.
Soldiers test fired their individual weapons at Udairi Range. Prior to deployment, Highlander Soldiers completed marksmanship training at Fort Bliss over the past few months. In Kuwait, over 400 Soldiers per day fire weapons including pistols, rifles, and machine guns up to .50 caliber at silhouette targets.
"The ranges in Kuwait provide verification that weapons are still functioning in a desert environment," said Army 1st Lt. Timothy Shebesta, executive officer, E Company, 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment who served as the range training officer. "Any weapons malfunctions are repaired at the Camp Buehring maintenance shop prior to the Soldiers movement to Iraq."
"Soldiers are more confident in their weapons and optic systems after completing the range," added Shebesta, an Antioch, Ill., native.
Soldiers learned techniques to increase their chances of survival during roll-over accidents in Humvee and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected or MRAP vehicles. The simulators are one-to-one mock ups of the combat trucks interiors.
"I'm a Humvee gunner," said Pfc. Raul Gomez, B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment.
"The [roll-over] training makes me feel more confident that other crew members can help save my life, should we get in an accident," added Gomez, a Los Angeles native.
All Soldiers from brigade commander to the newest private were required to participate in the five-hour training sessions. Training was in two phases, a classroom lecture followed by egress practice in the simulators. The simulators are capable of 360 degree rotation in order to replicate conditions of a vehicle roll-over.
The Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer or HEAT simulates Humvees in roll-over conditions. The simulator reinforces proper techniques for Soldiers to exit a vehicle that is upside-down and assist fellow crewmembers injured in a roll-over.
"There's no other way to figure out how to get out of a seatbelt upside-down than practicing in vehicle-sized simulators," said 2nd Lt. Joseph Rogan, medical platoon leader for 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment. "Going through this training will instill confidence in 100 percent of my Soldiers and make them less likely to panic and more likely to remain calm if their vehicle rolls-over."
Soldiers designated as MRAP drivers also participate in a three-day operator's course where they learn how to drive the large trucks and properly conduct preventive maintenance checks and services. Upon completion they are prepared to begin their practical driving exercises.
"The brigade will have over 400 MRAPs and Humvees in Iraq," said Army Capt. Sean Henley, brigade assistant operations officer, 4th BCT, 1AD. "Safe vehicle operation is the first step in successful patrol missions."
Improvised Explosive Devices are the number one killer among Coalition Forces, to combat this, Soldiers sit through multiple classes that explain the different types of IEDs, how they work, and then they go through a hands-on exercise to spot IEDs in a controlled training environment.
"As apprehensive as most of us are, it was a good course to refresh those of us who have had training and very informing to those who have not," said Pfc. Ehren Harvey, all source intelligence analyst, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th BCT, 1st AD.
"Camp Buehring training staff has provided us the most up-to-date tactics, techniques, and procedures," said Henley. "I'm confident our Soldiers are prepared for Iraq."