FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers with 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division conducted training on mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicles recently in order to stay up-to-date on equipment used in combat today.

According to the website,, MRAPs are a family of vehicles that generally incorporate a "V"-shaped hull and armor plating designed to provide protection against mines and improvised explosive device. There are three categories of MRAP weighing between seven and 22 tons, and capable of carrying between six and 12 personnel.

Troops prefer the MRAP to the humvee because of the smoothness of the ride and the air conditioning, but mostly because of the survivability rate, said course instructors.

"This vehicle is designed that if it hit an IED, the Soldiers inside will be pretty shook up, but they'll be OK," said David Miller, a government contractor that provides operator and maintenance training on the MRAP vehicle family.

During training, Soldiers gathered at the brigade motor pool for the four-day course and completed classroom, hands-on and night training to familiarize themselves with the vehicles.

They learned about safety and cautions of the vehicle, how to operate and maintain it, how to maneuver the vehicle as well as how to drive it at night.

Leaders there said the training is vital to the success of a deployed unit.

"This is a vehicle that has saved lives in the past in both Iraq and Afghanistan," said Sgt. Michael Leguillow, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 215th Brigade Support Battalion, from Carolina, Puerto Rico. "It's great for them to understand the vehicle and how to take care of it down-range."

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