• Staff Sgt. Reginald Livingston observes the overhead monitor on a Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle “Buffalo” Route Clearance Virtual Simulator. Livingston and 14 other Army Reservists from the 689th Engineer Company validated upgrades to the “Buffalo,” as well as the Medium Mine Protected Vehicles, “JERRV and RG31,”  the Vehicular Mounted Mine Detector “Husky,” and the Man Transportable Robotic Systems “Talon.” The upgrades included an Afghanistan Database, seat shakers, additional Improvised Explosive Devices, additional markers and colors, and a detonation cord for the “Talon.”

    412th Theater Engineer Command Public Affairs NCOIC

    Staff Sgt. Reginald Livingston observes the overhead monitor on a Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle “Buffalo” Route Clearance Virtual Simulator. Livingston and 14 other Army Reservists from the 689th Engineer Company validated upgrades to the...

  • Sgt. Anthony Anastasia, 689th Engineer Company, drives through a virtual Iraqi town in a Vehicular Mounted Mine Detector “Husky” Route Clearance simulator. Anastasia and 14 other Army Reservists from the 689th validated upgrades to the “HUSKY” as well as the Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle “Buffalo,” the Medium Mine Protected Vehicles “RG31” and “JERRV,” and the Man Transportable Robotic Systems “Talon.” The upgrades included an Afghanistan Database, seat shakers, additional Improvised Explosive Devices, additional markers and colors, and a detonation cord for the “Talon.”

    412th Theater Engineer Command, Public Affairs NCOIC

    Sgt. Anthony Anastasia, 689th Engineer Company, drives through a virtual Iraqi town in a Vehicular Mounted Mine Detector “Husky” Route Clearance simulator. Anastasia and 14 other Army Reservists from the 689th validated upgrades to the “HUSKY”...

  • Sgt. Anthony Anastasia, 689th Engineer Company, trains on a Vehicular Mounted Mine Detector “Husky” Route Clearance simulator. Anastasia and 14 other Army Reservists from the 689th validated upgrades to the “HUSKY” as well as the Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle “Buffalo,” the Medium Mine Protected Vehicles “RG31” and “JERRV,” and the Man Transportable Robotic Systems “Talon.” The upgrades included an Afghanistan Database, seat shakers, additional Improvised Explosive Devices, additional markers and colors, and a detonation cord for the “Talon.”

    412th Theater Enigeer Command, Public Affairs NCOIC

    Sgt. Anthony Anastasia, 689th Engineer Company, trains on a Vehicular Mounted Mine Detector “Husky” Route Clearance simulator. Anastasia and 14 other Army Reservists from the 689th validated upgrades to the “HUSKY” as well as the Mine Protected...

  • Staff Sgt. Marcus Acklin, 689th Engineer Company, mans the mock .50 caliber machine gun on a Medium Mine Protected Vehicle “JERRV” Virtual Route Clearance Simulator. The image in the monitor to Acklin’s right is a representation of what he sees in the view finder of the head hardness he’s wearing.  Acklin and 14 other Army Reservists from the 689th validated upgrades to the “JERRV,” the Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle “Buffalo,”  the Medium Mine Protected Vehicle “RG31,”  the Vehicular Mounted Mine Detector “Husky,” and the Man Transportable Robotic Systems “Talon.” The upgrades included an Afghanistan database, seat shakers, additional Improvised Explosive Devices, additional markers and colors, and a detonation cord for the “Talon.”

    412th Theater Engineer Command, Public Affairs NCOIC

    Staff Sgt. Marcus Acklin, 689th Engineer Company, mans the mock .50 caliber machine gun on a Medium Mine Protected Vehicle “JERRV” Virtual Route Clearance Simulator. The image in the monitor to Acklin’s right is a representation of what he sees...

Daytona Beach (Aug. 23, 2010) Rolling out on mounted patrols, engaging enemy insurgents, and interrogating roadside bombs from a semi-trailer in Daytona Beach'

Fifteen Soldiers from the 689th Engineer Company validated upgrades to the Army's route clearance simulator, Aug. 16-20, 2010. Program administrators selected the 689th because the Reservists conducted route clearance operations in Iraq from 2007-2008.

"Most of these guys have more than 200 route clearance missions under their belts," said Captain Shawn McKinney, Commander of the 689th Engineer Company.

Simulator upgrades include a "seat shaker" and a vibrating steering column on the Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle "Buffalo," the Vehicular Mounted Mine Detector "Husky," and the Medium Mine Protected Vehicles "JERRV" and "RG31."

"With the vibrations in the steering column and seat, depending on speed, you actually feel like you are driving off road and your controls reflect that," said Maj. Timothy McGrew, assistant product manager, Ground Tactical Combat Trainers.

"It's like I'm driving my Buffalo back in country again," said Staff Sgt. Reginald Livingston. "There are instances where I forget and have to remind myself I'm in a simulator."

The Man Transportable Robotic Systems "Talon" got a detonation cord, and the entire system now has an Afghanistan database.

The Soldiers provided feedback to the programmers, and they got an opportunity to sharpen their skills on the equipment.

"The opportunities to get on real equipment and train are minimal when you're stateside," said McKinney. "To keep their abilities and muscle memory, it's good to go out and exercise it from time to time."

"This program has trained more than 22,000 Soldiers, and the feedback we get is 'Hey, this is just like the equipment I sat in when I deployed last year,'" said McGrew.

Route Clearance simulator training was not available when the 689th deployed. Livingston says he's certain that Soldiers who train on the simulator will be better prepared than he was.

"Simply knowing how to turn a corner and knowing that the Buffalo does not turn like a car. Knowing that if I turn this corner without hitting the dirt, because that's where they put the bombs." Livingston said. "I have no doubt in my mind that this is going to save someone's life."

Page last updated Tue September 21st, 2010 at 17:38