By Capt. Ricky Hicks and Staff Sgt. Joyce Gary, 3rd Training Support Battalion, 312th RegimentSeptember 12, 2013
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. --Prior to annual training, Player had only been to driver's training during her first enlistment in the U.S. Army Reserve more than 7 years ago.
Soldiers of 3rd Training Support Battalion, 312th Regiment, 174th Infantry Brigade conducted driver's training focused on the High Mobility Multi Wheeled Vehicle or Humvee during their annual training held this summer at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
"I feel confident and fully qualified to drive the HMMWV now after the classroom instruction," asserted Spc. Kiani Player, 3-312th Regiment, 174th Infantry Brigade. "I wanted to attend to become more knowledgeable with the newer HMMWV."
Player scored 27 out of 30 on the written exam and said her favorite part of the training was driving through the different courses.
"Some courses were more challenging than others which made me see what the HMMWV is capable of," she commented. Overall, Player said she had fun and a good experience with a great team.
Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Stanley, 2-309th Regiment, 174th Infantry Brigade was the primary instructor for training at Driver Training Area Three. Stanley has been a Trainer/Mentor with the 174th Infantry Brigade since 2006, specifically teaching drivers' training since November 2012.
"We conduct drivers' training to get service members accustomed to driving heavy, bulkier vehicles with a high center of gravity," said Stanley.
He explained the HMMWV presented challenges to students with its many blind spots.
"Soldiers work as a team inside the vehicle to alert the driver to potential hazards. This teamwork also enhances better communication amongst the Soldiers," said Stanley who joined the Army 30 years ago, in 1983.
In addition to learning blind spots, soldiers also learn how to shift gears to traverse different terrain. They incorporate basic convoy operations, convoy briefs and also learn proper towing procedures during the two-day driver's training course.
This course also includes a night driver's training phase. The students are given a familiarization course wearning night vision goggles. The students are trained to drive in total blackout conditions. To add more real-world challenges, role players are incorporated in the scenarios. They place simulated IED and unexploded ordinance (UXO) along the route to test the student's ability to look for dangers. This also allows the student additional practice reporting hazards along routes.
Stanley explained the HMMWV driver's training was the first prerequisite step in a process to drive the larger variations of this vehicle.
"This is good training. I especially enjoy training other services, such as Air Force and Coast Guard, who are not traditionally trained in vehicle use," explained Stanley.
Team Chief, Capt. Robert Holscher, 312th Regiment, 174th Infantry Brigade felt this was essential training and it will allow them the ability to requisition these vehicles to enhance future training missions at their home station.