By 1st Lt. David Jackson, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div.December 29, 2008
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - Vehicle rollovers account for 80 percent of accidents involving U.S. Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Company A, 27th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division leader are did their part to prevent these accidents by providing Rollover-Mitigation Training with their Iraqi counterparts at Contingency Operating Base Adder Dec 8.
The training, commonly referred to as Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer, or HEAT, was introduced to the Iraqi maneuver elements of the 10th Motorized Transportation Regiment to help them avoid vehicle rollovers in southern Iraq.
The session began with classroom instruction. Two 27 BSB noncommissioned officers taught major causes of vehicle rollovers and actions that can mitigate the risks of rollovers to the 15 Iraqi MTR Soldiers attending the training.
The trainers emphasized not panicking, wearing seatbelts, securing loads inside the vehicle and not locking one's joints while experiencing a rollover. They also explained how these simple measures can reduce rollover casualties by 65 percent.
Sgt. Richard Morring proceeded into then led rehearsals of the actions and commands Soldier should perform during a rollover.
"This information is very useful," said Cpl. Ali, Iraqi MTR. "It will help me stay alive if we rollover. As a gunner, it will help me very much."
Ali and the Iraqi Soldiers experienced simulated effects of rollovers from 90 and 180 degree angles as they properly exited the vehicle.
"The Soldiers did an outstanding job of using the training while exiting the vehicle," said Sgt. Luis Ayala, one of the 27th BSB HEAT trainers from Houston, Texas.
After multiple rotations in the HEAT trainer, the competitive spirit emerged between the Iraqi Soldiers, and they initiated a race for the best exit. The fastest recorded time was 56 seconds with all occupants safely exiting the vehicle.
"This is outstanding training that these Soldiers can take back to their unit and train each other on the appropriate actions should a rollover occur," said Ayala. "This is the second time I have conducted training with the 10th MTR, and they are always motivated and eager to learn."
"This intense training was a definite booster for not only our partnership, but also the tactical and technical proficiency of our Iraqi partners," added Ayala.