D Battery Soldiers drive training mission for combat advisors
Capt. Bryan Ward (left), commander, D Battery, 5th Battalion, 353rd Regiment, 162nd Infantry Brigade, briefs Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk commander, Brig. Gen. James Yarbrough, on the battalion's driver training program.

Fort Polk, La. -- The Soldiers of D Battery, 5th Battalion, 353rd Regiment, 162nd Infantry Brigade, instructed its first M1151A1 driver training class for Class 81's combat advisors Sept. 16. The class included 63 Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen headed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Driver training familiarizes combat advisors with basic and advanced road skills, rough terrain driving, driving with night vision devices and emergency action procedures.
"Many of the combat advisors will spend a lot of time on the road in theater and may not be familiar with the M1151A1 HMMWV, so it's important that they receive training that will familiarize them with what the vehicle is capable of," said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Rivas.

The first day of training included eight hours of classroom instruction and practical exercises. Exercises included vehicle recovery, preventive maintenance checks and services and emergency action drills utilizing the HMMWV Egress Assistance Trainer.

"We teach basic operator skills, such as vehicle recovery and PMCS as well as rollover drills first, so that the combat advisors are prepared to operate the vehicle in different situations that they will encounter during the second day of training," said Staff Sgt. David Robertson.

The second day of the program is centered around application of the lessons learned in the classroom at the tactical driving facility.

There, students complete the advanced road skills course, rough terrain driving course, and a night driving course. The tactical driving facility provides a closed course environment for training. The advanced road skills course fosters gunner/driver communication and trains the driver to navigate through a variety of urban obstacles.

The rough terrain driving course familiarizes the driver with the principles of off-road driving and demonstrates the mobility characteristics of the M1151A1 HMMWV.

The night driving course familiarizes drivers with operating the vehicle while using night vision devices. "When the combat advisors complete our training, they will have a solid understanding of the mobility characteristics and limitations of the M1151A1," said Capt. Bryan Ward, commander, D Bat, 5th Bn, 353rd Reg. "This will prepare them for any type of terrain or situation they encounter by giving them the ability to properly assess the situation in relation to the capabilities of the vehicle."

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