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    Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer

    Courtesy Photo | Spc. Angel Ocegueda, 298th Maintenance Company, acts as a safety on the Humvee Egress...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    101st Division Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs

    Sgt. Rachel Brune
    101ST Sustainment Brigade

    LSA DIAMONDBACK, Iraq (June 14, 2006) " The Soldiers of the 142nd Corps Support Battalion no longer have to survive a deadly situation to describe what it is like to roll over in an uparmored Humvee.

    With the unveiling of the first and only Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer, or HEAT, in Iraq June 14, the Soldiers now have another weapon in the safety arsenal to combat Humvee rollovers, which have claimed 13 lives in 2006 alone.

    "We want to make sure that we have no more memorial services and no more trips to the hospital," said Lt. Col. Ronald Green, battalion commander.

    The HEAT is an M1114, or uparmored Humvee, chassis mounted on an axle, powered by a generator. When in operation, the device rotates the entire chassis to simulate a rollover situation.

    "When you're upside down, you're disoriented," said Capt. James George, company commander, 473rd Quartermaster Company. "That was the worst complication " figuring out how to open the door."

    George explained, he had not been able to imagine a rollover situation clearly before participating in the simulator.

    "It's a great device," said George, of Birmingham, Ala. "It's going to help save lives."

    During the initial unveiling ceremony, held at the battalion's celebration of the Army's 231st birthday, each subordinate unit commander and first sergeant donned body armor and kevlars to experience the simulator. The operator first rocked the chassis to a 25 degree angle, the angle at which an uparmored Humvee will roll over, then spun it the other way to simulate a rollover. The occupants then had to exit the vehicle while it was positioned upside down.

    "It's a great trainer to assist Soldiers to know at what angle they're going to roll over [and] how to exit," said 1st Sgt. Perry Williamson, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, from Canton, Miss.

    Although the 142nd CSB, an active duty unit from Fort Polk, La., has less than two months left on its deployment, the trainer will allow future Soldiers the ability to get the training, said Williamson.

    Capt. Ronnie Crosby, HHD commander, of New Orleans, La., mentioned that the initial 25 degree tilt was surprising.

    "It didn't feel like we were going to tip," said Crosby. "Maybe that's why we have rollovers."

    This is the fourth HEAT in existence in the Army, and the first one in Iraq, according to James F. Jennings, safety officer for the 101st Sustainment Brigade, the 142nd CSB's parent unit.

    A team of Soldiers from the 872nd and 298th Maintenance Companies built the machine, working from blueprints released by Coalition Forces Land Component Command at a safety conference March 20.

    The construction team added several innovations to the original design. The battalion's HEAT is the first to include a safety cage around the turret, which will enable gunners to practice slipping into the interior of the Humvee.

    Rather than utilize commercially-fabricated parts, the project officer decided to mobilize the Army's vast supply system to provide the components for the HEAT. Chief Warrant Officer (4) Jeffrey De Wign, 298th MCT shop officer from El Paso, Texas, acquired old parts for the machine that had been relegated to the "boneyard" and stricken from the Army's books, as well as parts that could easily be ordered through the system.

    "I thought to myself, we have the largest supply inventory in the world," said De Wijn.

    The HEAT drive motor is the same motor used to power the turret on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and the turret gear is from an Avenger drive assembly.

    "This is a triumph of ingenuity and innovation here," said Jennings.

    The entire construction took about seven weeks and $10,000 to complete, according to De Wijn.

    Jennings attributes much of the innovation and efficiency to the additional sets of skills the Soldiers brought to the project. The two maintenance companies are Army Reserve units, and the project manager, Staff Sgt. James Jett, 872nd MC, is a maintenance manager for Infiltrator Systems.

    Jett, a senior quartermaster and chemical repair sergeant from Clinton, Utah, holds an Associates of Applied Science in electrical and mechanical engineering from Weber State University. He became involved in the project when his shop officer showed him a collection of parts.

    "He said, "We want you to make a rollover machine out of this pile of junk,"" said Jett. Although both Jennings and De Wijn gave Jett the majority of credit for the successful completion of the project, he deferred the credit to his team of Soldiers from the two maintenance companies.

    One of the advantages of this model of the HEAT, according to Jett, is that it is completely self-contained and self-powered, as well as being very portable.

    The bottom line, from a safety viewpoint, is that with this training, the first time a Soldier is involved in a rollover will not be the first time he or she has gone through the experience, said Jennings. The Soldier will have the necessary muscle memories to bring the gunner into the vehicle before the rollover and then exit in a safe manner.




    Date Taken: 06.24.2006
    Date Posted: 06.24.2006 14:07
    Story ID: 6947
    Location: MOSUL, IQ

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