TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Marines and sailors with Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, recently conducted egress training at the Combat Center’s Battle Simulation Center to better prepare them for a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle rollover.
The MRAP Vehicle Egress Trainer is designed to familiarize Marines with being disoriented, upside down and give them the tools to egress out of the vehicle safely.
“What I’m looking for is not piling out of the doors,” said 1st Lt. T.J. Hardy, executive officer, H&S Company, 3/7. “Once you exit that vehicle, I’m looking for initial accountability and assessment of everybody’s medical status. After that, conduct perimeter security around the vehicle.”
First, Marines are secured in the simulator wearing tactical gear, including Kevlar, flak jacket, knee pads and elbow pads. They were strapped into seat belts with their M16 A2 or M4 service rifles. The simulator spins, which disorients the crew and confuses them.
Once the simulated rollover stops, the crew must release their seat belts while supporting their body weight and help fellow service members from their seats. The Marines continue to egress the vehicle and exit the sides, the rear, or the roof.
Hardy also told his Marines to stay alert and establish a base of fire in a perimeter position so the situation can be properly assessed.
“Last time I was here they assigned casualties for each vehicle,” Lance Cpl. Edwin Gonzalez, armory custodian, H&S Company, 3/7. “The importance is definitely being ready for the worst case possible. It’s just to prepare us and get us ready (for deployment.)”
The proactive training helps bring awareness to the top-heavy nature of an MRAP. As the Cutting Edge Marines safely exited the overturned vehicle, they conducted five and 25-meter checks, looking for improvised explosive devices.
The Marines simultaneously set up a perimeter while helping simulated casualties and taking machine-gun fire.
The simulator requires physical and mental strength to break free from the restraints of seat belts, loose gear and other obstacles all while maintaining communication and getting passengers out safely, without compromising security.
The training is a part of 3/7’s predeployment preparation for their upcoming deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The MET training is unit-delegated and requires unit operators to be at least the rank of sergeant. To learn more about operator qualifications or to schedule training call 830-4192.