By Spc. Dustin Gautney, 2nd HBCT Public AffairsNovember 4, 2009
FORWARD OPERATION BASE BUEHRING, Kuwait - "Rollover, Rollover, Rollover," shouted Spartan Soldiers of the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division as they participated in Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle egress training, just one of the final training exercises the brigade must finish before leaving Kuwait and push forward to Iraq.
Over the last couple of weeks, the Soldiers of 2nd HBCT arrived in Kuwait at Forward Operations Base Buehring to complete their final two weeks of training before moving to Northern Iraq. The training consists of mandatory weapons firing checks, Improvised Explosive Device awareness, egress training for the MRAP and humvees, and opportunities to conduct multiple mounted and dismounted day and night live-fire exercises.
The first series of training, which consisted of MRAP driving course as well as humvee and MRAP egress training, helped familiarize Soldiers with the military's newest anti-IED vehicle.
"At first the vehicle was really intimidating, but after a few hours behind the wheel, it was easy to become comfortable with driving it," said Spc. Matthew Beason, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd HBCT, of the U.S. militaries large anti-IED vehicle.
With 40 hours of training conducted over three days, the Soldiers became quite familiar with the vehicle's capabilities, said Spc. Beason.
"The first day was a general introduction to the vehicle followed by day and night driving on the second day and then final testing on the third day of the course," Spc.Beason said.
Along with being licensed to drive the MRAP, Soldiers experienced vehicle egress training, which allowed them to experience and learn the proper procedures and measures needed in case of a possible vehicle rollover.
"The training is really fun; Soldiers get to roll around in a large simulator," said Sgt. First Class Travis Fite, HHC, 2nd HBCT. "However, it has real world implications, teaching every Soldier what to do if you experience a rollover as well as what to do to keep everyone in the vehicle safe."
The Soldiers completed weapons testing and weapon's sight zeroing as the final phase of training before being cleared to move forward to Iraq.
"It is incredibly important to the success of the mission, whether it is through weapons firing or MRAP training, that we have Soldiers mission capable who are confident and proficient with both their equipment and weapons systems before moving forward to Iraq," said Sgt. First Class Mark DeJesus, HHC, 2nd HBCT.