JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J., Aug 6, 2010 - Soldiers of the 78th Army Band rehearsed overturned vehicle exiting procedures in the Humvee Egress Assessment Trainer (HEAT) during a training event here.

The simulator accompanies a class designed to give Soldiers practical experience exiting an overturned vehicle.

This is one of several training events included in the 99th Regional Support Command annual training plan, in which Soldiers of the 78th Band are also participating. The five-day event includes rifle marksmanship, medical training and other classes that help keep the Soldiers' battle skills sharp.

"It really was able to simulate what it would be like to go through a rollover accident and it was one of the most realistic trainings I've had in the Army," said Sgt. Matthew Belcher, 78th Army Band trombone player.

The HEAT simulator resembles a Humvee, but the frame is securely suspended above ground. This design allows the trainer to be capable of rotating and stopping in various positions, giving it the unique ability to replicate the unfortunate event of an accident turning the vehicle over.

This gives Soldiers practical experience in the safe exit of overturned vehicles in any position.

"I think for troops that are definitely mobilizing and going overseas and even troops that are in the rear, we operate Humvees as a band; it's important training to know," said Spc. Jared Burgan, 78th Army Band trombone player. "It's better to learn it and never use it than to be in a situation and not know what to do."

Before the HEAT simulator was developed, Soldiers would do rollover drills in a stationary up-armored Humvee sat upright. The new simulator adds vibrancy to the previous training.

Before entering the simulator, instructors first lecture from a PowerPoint presentation that highlights the important safety points on exiting an overturned vehicle. Next, the instructors give Soldiers reinforcement exercises to highlight the important safety measures. Once the exercises are complete, the Soldiers are ready to go through the rollover simulator.

"It was great training and very realistic. It's about as close as you can come to actually being in a real rollover in a Humvee," said Burgan.

The HEAT training continues to improve and better raise vehicle safety awareness in mobilizing Soldiers. Parsons said under the supervision of Sgt 1st Class Anthony James, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the training, the class has more depth and detail than when he went through the training during his mobilization training.

"The last one I went through was just reading off the slides; we went into the vehicle and we rolled over once, and there wasn't really a whole explanation of what went on," said Parsons. "With Sgt. 1st Class James and what he incorporated, it's two rollovers, - land and water rollover - and we go over battle drills to make sure everyone is properly prepared for the actual rollover."

Members of the 78th Army Band enjoyed the egress training event for its realism and informational quality. As they move on with the rest of their training, they leave with a better knowledge of vehicle egress, a more extensive knowledge of preventing vehicle inversion, and more confident that they will know what to do in the event of an emergency.

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