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    Making a splash: New Humvee driver training course sending troops to Iraq ready for the road

    Making a Splash: New Humvee Driver Training Course Sending Troops to Iraq R

    Photo By Sgt. Thomas Day | David Boykin, an up-armored humvee training instructor, shows what happens when a...... read more read more

    By Sgt. Thomas L. Day
    40th Public Affairs Detachment

    KUWAIT – David Boykin's previous career was as a motorcycle-driving instructor. His new line of work involves a much larger vehicle.

    His job at Camp Buehring is to train Soldiers deploying north to Iraq how to drive an up-armored humvee. Boykin, an Orlando, Fla., native, is the supervising instructor for the up-armored Humvee Drivers' Training Course, which was launched on Feb. 25.

    Ten such courses exist in the continental United States, but this is the only humvee driving course that puts students in the same desert environment they will face in Iraq.

    The course, he insists, is very necessary for troops moving across the Kuwaiti border and into Iraq.

    Classes begin with a safety briefing at a tent inside Camp Buehring, then Boykin takes everyone to an eight-kilometer range for the class. The class takes about four hours to complete.

    The course is the spawn of the U.S. Army Advanced Skills Driver Course, which trains military personnel on how to safely drive civilian vehicles. Boykin says the Advanced Skills Driver Course has trained more than 4,000 students in two years.

    That course includes exercises in basic steering, off road driving, and skid control. The up-armored humvee driving course includes all of those instructions – which they call the "crawl" phases – then adds more instruction in the "walk" and "run" phases.

    The walk phase includes climbing hills, moguls, blind turns, and hill descents. The run phase teaches the students to complete two exercises at the same time.

    "Our course is a familiarization course," said Travis Henry, an Atlanta native and course instructor. "We usually train the master driver. It's up to the master driver to train the Soldiers.

    "We don't certify anybody, we don't license anybody," Henry added.

    The M1151/1152 humvee improves the former model, the M1114, by adding removable armor. One door, in the M1114, weighs "about 250 pounds," according to Boykin. The new M1151, he said, is about three times that weight.

    Boykin and his instructors can teach maneuvers in both vehicles. "Basically we're just trying to give you a feel for what the [M1114] and the [M1151] can and cannot due," Boykin said. "We're trying to show them the difference between the two vehicles."

    The staff has been loaned 14 tactical vehicles for the class. If a student has his own vehicle, they can train with that vehicle as well.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.23.2007
    Date Posted: 05.23.2007 13:51
    Story ID: 10493
    Location: KW

    Web Views: 2,034
    Downloads: 1,737

    PUBLIC DOMAIN