Heavy Transporters train on new equipment
February 11, 2011
FORT KNOX, Ky. (February 11, 2011) - From Jan. 24 to Feb. 28, Sustainers from the 233rd Heavy Transportation Company will be conducting drivers training on their newly acquired equipment, the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP) Caiman.
Targeted to be a viable alternative to the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), the MRAP was designed to offer more protection against Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). While many units have already fielded the MRAP, the 233rd is just getting familiar with the vehicle.
For Soldiers of the 233rd, training on the MRAP Caiman is welcome change of pace from the regular day to day activities. In fact, it has been more than seven years since the transporters of the 233rd have trained on any new vehicle.
Staff Sgt. Sheila Collins, 3rd Platoon squad leader from Ortonville, Michigan, has been with the unit since November 2007. This will be the first time she has trained on anything other than a HMMWV or Heavy Equipment Transporter since arriving to the 233rd.
"I am excited to try out these Caimans [MRAP]. They are pretty large compared to the HMMWV and probably drive top heavy, but it is always good to be licensed on as many vehicles as possible," said Staff Sgt. Collins.
The transporters are not the only Soldiers to get new training. The 233rd Maintenance platoon is also getting familiarized with the MRAP Caiman.
"I think it will be great to finally fix something else. It gets a little monotonous repairing the same piece of equipment over and over again. It is good to see new problems and different solutions," said Sgt. Joshua Branstetter, a wheeled vehicle mechanic and Elizabethtown native.
The instructors for the MRAP Caiman are contractors from a mobile training team based in California. The class lasts five days starting from the classroom culminates in a driven examination.