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HEAT training prepares 1/5 Marines for combat

19 Feb 2009 | Lance Cpl. John McCall

Marines and sailors from Head­quarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines participated in the Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer at Las Pulgas here Feb. 19.

The HEAT trainer is a virtual train­ing system that helps teach Marines how to react if they are involved in a vehicle roll over.

“It gives Marines the basic idea of what to do if their vehicle gets rolled over and how to get out,” said Sgt. Cole Phillips, a TOW gunner with 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines. “They have an understanding of how things move around when they get flipped over.”

U.S. Central Command and Gen. James T. Conway, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, made this train­ing mandatory for all Marines pre­paring to deploy to a combat zone.

“The training simulates vehicle rollover caused by an improvised ex­plosive device or anything that might take them off the road,” Phillips said.

Marines are spun around inside the simulator and stopped at a ran­dom angle, either upside down, or on either of its sides.

“I’ve been in a rollover before and it’s not fun being tossed around and banged up,” Phillips said.

Once stopped, the trainer unlocks one of the doors and the Marines must figure out how to evacuate the simulator as quickly as possible.

“You’ll be more prepared,” said Cpl. William Johnson, a tactical data system specialist with H/S company. “They put you through a worst-case scenario for a vehicle crash.”

Marines found the training to be very useful in preparing for their upcoming deployment.

“It’s good training, very realistic,” said Capt. Daniel Thomas, the com­manding officer for H/S company. “Every Marine will be in a humvee and needs to know what to do if a situation like this occurs.”