CAMP MCGREGOR, N.M. -- Soldiers from the 379th Engineer Company completed a 40-hour Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected driver's training course recently in preparation for their deployment to Iraq.

Third Battalion, 360th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Rough Rider, 5th Armored Brigade, gave a four-day training event for the engineer company where they received specialized training on maintaining and operating M-RAP vehicles. Through a series of classroom instruction and practical exercises, the Soldiers received specific training to prepare them for overseas deployments.

"I think the trails were a good part of the training" said Spc. Shawn Jenkins, engineer with 379th. "It prepared us for the types of driving conditions we'll see overseas."

During the practical exercises, each student had the opportunity to drive on paved highways, as well as dirt trails in both day and night. The driving was facilitated in conjunction with the M-RAP Obstacle Course. The course presented the students with the chance to test their driving skills as well as the capabilities of the vehicle through a sequence of obstacles.

"I really enjoyed the obstacle course" said Spc. Sipho Kitner, 379th engineer. "It was a good test of what I'm able to do with the vehicle."

Upon completion of the course, students will be familiar with the vehicle and operating procedures. This will give them the foundation for licensing when returning to their unit. This will also better prepare them for operating the M-RAP vehicle throughout a varied of driving conditions in multiple areas of operations.

"We want to provide the students with necessary tools they need in the future," said Maj. Roger Ogden, TF Rough Rider observer-coach/trainer.