MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Taking a tumble trapped inside the steel cockpit of a humvee can be deadly, but with the proper training, Marines in support of Operation Enduring Freedom can have a leg up if their legs go up in a rollover.
Marines from Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 3, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, traveled to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Feb. 9, take on the Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer - a mandatory requirement for all deploying Marines.
The trainer is a simulated up-armored humvee that can flip left and right, then stop sideways and upside down. Four disoriented Marines must find an unlocked door, exit the humvee and provide 360 degree security.
“It is a good experience to be in a flipped humvee,” said Sgt. Amanda Anibas, the MWHS-3 staff section administration chief. “I didn’t know what was up and what was down until I unlatched my seatbelt.”
Marines completed the training in flack jackets, kevlars, training rifles, elbow pads and knee pads. The participants held tightly on to their rifles while the humvee spun to keep them from becoming dangerous projectiles.
The training also enforces Marine Corps Order 5100.19E, that states all Marines must wear seatbelts.
“This training can save lives,” said Cpl. Travis Tabor, the HEAT instructor for MWHS-3. “Some of the Marines who died in rollovers may not have had the experience of HEAT training to reinforce that the seatbelts are not a hindrance, but a life saver.”
Marines had to work together to complete the training. In some scenarios Marines are told they have injuries varying from broken arms to unconsciousness.
“I usually pick the biggest marines in the group and give them two ‘broken legs’ so the Marines have to use teamwork and communication to get the injured Marine out of the humvee trainer,” said Tabor.
Training is no laughing matter for these Marines especially when it could save them or their fellow devil dogs in an actual roll over. This training was just a glimpse of a true combat killer that all Marines must prepare to face.