MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Forward deployed Marines and sailors fight the danger of vehicle roll-over incidents in their heavily armored vehicles on a daily basis. The Battle Simulation Center offers a training simulation that will teach Marines what to do to stay alive during these situations.
The Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Egress Trainer are the frames of their functioning tactical vehicle counterparts. While inside, the simulator spins, giving the Marines inside the closest feeling possible of a roll-over while remaining in a safe, controlled environment.
“We want to make sure the Marines can safely egress that vehicle,” said Gunnery Sgt. Hector Viramontes, a combat tactics instructor at the Battle Simulation Center. “We teach them also how to exit and post security.”
Before the simulation, the Marines are given a 20-minute class on vehicle roll-over prevention.
The Marines are then put through multiple scenarios inside the simulator, such as evacuating the vehicle at any angle the instructor chooses, and often also evacuating of a dummy casualty “hurt” in the roll-over.
“The Marines have to open different doors to get out,” Viramontes said. “The doors here weigh 60 pounds. On a real vehicle, the doors weigh near 260 pounds.”
The Marines learn to get their seatbelts off quickly, balance themselves, communicate with their team and safely evacuate while posting security. They also practice stripping off their gear as fast as possible should their roll-over land them underwater.
A flick of the lights gives the Marines yet another avenue of realistic training. During simulated night roll-overs, they learn to feel their way around without the convenience of sight.
“Units have even added smoke to the simulation to emphasize a matter of urgency,” said Doug Peercy, an instructor at the Battle Simulation Center.
The simulations have “opened the eyes” of some Marines who have trained with it.
“It can get pretty hectic in there. I was the smallest guy. It was crazy trying to scramble around,” said Lance Cpl. Dominic Taylor, a warehouse clerk with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejuene, N.C., who recently completed the training.
The instructors at the Battle Simulation Center offer up the simulations at any time convenient to units wanting to give their Marines another survival tool.
“We teach unit sergeants how to operate this machinery and how to conduct the training,” Viramontes said. “So they can train any time they want.”
To find out more information about the simulations offered, call the Battle Simulation Center at 830-4192.