Skid trainers enhance driver safety

Security Forces Airmen pose with a skid trainer at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, June 27. Three skid trainers were recently delivered to Air Force Global Strike Command to complement AFGSC's new driver safety program, familiarizing Airmen with the handling characteristics of the HMMWV in a wide variety of driving conditions.

Security Forces Airmen pose with a skid trainer at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, June 27. Three skid trainers were recently delivered to Air Force Global Strike Command to complement AFGSC's new driver safety program, familiarizing Airmen with the handling characteristics of the HMMWV in a wide variety of driving conditions.

Barksdale Air Force Base, La. -- Three highly-specialized vehicle safety training systems are now operational at Air Force Global Strike Command.

Known as skid trainers, these systems are designed to teach drivers how to handle a wide variety of vehicles. One of the most recognizable vehicles operated by Airmen today is the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or HMMWV, commonly referred to as a Humvee.

"The trainers provide initial familiarization on the HMMWV and then progress into advanced driving techniques with the new armored platform," said Master Sgt. William Bequette, AFGSC Security Forces equipment and resource manager. "It is a multi-faceted, phased approach that is applicable to all security forces in the missile wings."

Driving in the missile field presents unique challenges for Airmen. Personnel in these locations are expected to travel long distances over unimproved country roads and often contend with inclement weather.

"The training will provide a realistic, advanced practical experience," said Lt. Col. Derrick Ossmann, AFGSC chief of operations and training for Security Forces. "It instills confidence in the Airmen's ability to operate multiple vehicle types safely in different environments."

The new skid trainers are an integral part of AFGSC's revamped driver safety program, which aims to prevent vehicle accidents and rollovers that pose a significant risk to Airmen.

"This is not just a one-time training event for our licensed HMMWV drivers, but rather a recurring training program that includes additional specialized training geared toward our younger drivers," Bequette said.

More than 50 vehicle operators have received the training so far, and more are lined up.

"So far the feedback from our personnel is that the training has been well received," Bequette said. "It's meeting all the needs of our personnel operating vehicles in the missile complex."