By Mr. Randy Siniard (RDECOM)May 18, 2011
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (May 18, 2011) - Imagine you are a young Soldier strapped into the seat restraints of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle ready to roll out on a night mission in Afghanistan.
You are ready!
You've got on all your body armor, and your weapon is secured at your side; in all you have 50 to 100 pounds of equipment that you'll need on your objective.
The driver starts the engine which rumbles to a low drone.
As the vehicle moves deliberately through the rocky terrain surrounding your base, nothing but darkness and maybe an occasional distant campfire on the horizon can be seen outside the vehicle while you sit with your thoughts about the mission racing through your head.
The truck begins its climb up the narrow road with the mountain on one side and the river on the other.
Suddenly the driver shouts, "Hold on, we're going over!"
The next thing you know, your feet are where your head used to be and there's water lapping at your forehead. Your vehicle has rolled over.
"Rollovers are the number one cause of non-combat related deaths in theater," David Scott Johnston, project manager for the Transportable Reconfigurable Integrated Crew Trainer, said.
What do you do now'
The Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center's Software Development and Engineering Center's Army Game Studio was commissioned by the U.S. Special Operations Command to build the Transportable Reconfigurable Integrated Crew Trainer.
It's a one of a kind.
Designed to provide egress training for individuals and crews, it has realistic physics, sounds, and thematic feedback coupled with high-tech graphics to ensure full immersion for the senses.
The TRICT provides full driving motion and is capable of rolling 180 degrees in either direction and can be reconfigured for other joint tactical wheeled vehicles to include the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, and MRAP variants.
"The TRICT was designed using the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, which is used in both Iraq and Afghanistan, as its template," Johnston said. "It was made to look and react as realistically as possible."
The Project Manager for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles website said, "MRAP Vehicles are commercial off-the-shelf vehicles designed from the ground up to reduce casualties and increase survivability for personnel subjected to ambushes and attacks. Multiple missions will be supported by the MRAP fleet to include recon, convoy operations, troop transport, ambulances, Combat Engineer and EOD missions."
Eric Edwards, director of the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, is a fan of the trainer.
"I think SOCOM and the SED team have done an amazing job in developing a realistic integrated crew trainer that will save countless lives," Edwards said. "When I drove, we had a bit of a bumpy start. We went up an embankment, we were upside down immediately. That definitely helped me understand and appreciate the environment that our Soldiers face if there is a rollover in one of these vehicles."
"Everyone who's seen this system has been impressed," Maj. Chris Young, of headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command, said.