HEAT prepares Airmen for rollovers
By Airman 1st Class Katrina Heikkinen, 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 15, 2013
MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. --
Four security forces members strap on their seatbelts and brace for a rollover.
"Egress, Egress, Egress," yelled 1st Lt. Autumne Wells, 341st Security Forces Group executive officer.
The Airmen then crawl out of the simulated machine and perform 360-degree security.
Malmstrom Air Force Base recently became the new temporary home of a Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer, located at the Vehicle Readiness Center. Members of the 341st Security Forces Squadron, as well as Col. Robert Stanley, 341st Missile Wing commander, received training on March 7.
"The 341st Security Forces Group has a very driving-centered mission around the 13,800 square-mile missile complex - day or night in all types of weather," Wells said. "The training provides perishable skills for drivers and vehicle occupants, teaching them to mitigate injuries during a vehicle rollover. The trainer was brought up from Camp Guernsey, Wyoming, to help improve Airmen's muscle memory should they find themselves in a [rollover] situation. Most bases don't have these trainers because the training is geared toward pre-deployment. This is a great example of units helping each other - we were able to borrow the trainer without purchasing it."
After completing a Tactical Leadership Course at Camp Guernsey, Wells and four other security forces members received a Train the Trainer certification and are the only Airmen on base qualified to operate the trainer.
"The trainer prepares Airmen to react properly to rollovers and how to egress from rolled vehicles," Wells said. "Vehicles can roll over at any time, and it does not necessarily have to be in a deployed environment or combat situation."
In the trainer, Airmen experience critical angles on either side to know what it feels like when they are tipped to the most extreme point the vehicle can before it rolls, she said.
From there, they are spun upright and give the trainer a thumbs up or thumbs down to ensure they are safe. In both of the two scenarios they are put through, the vehicle is tipped to the side, or completely upside down to reinforce seatbelt confidence.
Upon the command, 'Egress, Egress, Egress,' Airmen were directed to safely exit the vehicle. Once all Airmen have exited the vehicle, they set up 360-degree security on the vehicle, which simulates a deployed environment.
Although the purpose of the training is not career-specific, the HEAT provides Airmen a unique opportunity to safely exit an inverted vehicle and could become a valuable tool when driving in combat situations, the missile complex and on the wintry roads of Montana.