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Kandahar Role 3 Students Take HMMVV Egress Assistance Trainer Class

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120125-23

From Navy Medicine Support Command Public Affairs

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (NNS) -- Kandahar Role 3 Hospital course non-medical support-staff Sailors attended a High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) Egress Assistance Trainer familiarization class Jan. 18, at the Marine Corps Base Tactical Vehicle Simulation Center aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif.

The 50 students, all support personnel engaged in the Naval Expeditionary Medical Training Institute (NEMTI)-sponsored Kandahar Role 3 Hospital course, were instructed by NEMTI staff in basic HMMWV exit techniques in the event of a mishap.

NEMTI Training Department Instructor Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (FMF) Brian McKenna said that despite additional training Kandahar Role 3 students undergo at other training sites before deploying in February, a familiarization with how to safely exit the vehicle can help.

"It's very disorienting, being flipped over several times inside the vehicle," he said. "Giving these students an additional opportunity to get used to the HEAT trainer can only help them. In today's Navy, even though these students are going to Afghanistan in a medical capacity, there's a very real chance they could be involved in a convoy at some point during their deployment."

HMMWVs, also known as "Humvees," are one of the primary modes of military transport in Afghanistan. They face unavoidable dangers from improvised explosive devices (IEDs), other explosives and driving mishaps that can cause the vehicle to flip. The HEAT simulator is designed to equip and support the warfighter with a safe, effective training solution should the HMMWV flip.

Students divided into teams of four, each donning Kevlar helmets, carrying a mock M-16 rifle and entering the HEAT trainer. The trainer's interior closely approximates actual HMMWV seating areas but is a stationary machine rotating laterally 360 degrees to simulate the vehicle flipping over multiple times.

NEMTI staff stop the vehicle on its side or top, requiring students to unfasten their restraints and exit the vehicle, often from an upside-down position.

McKenna said training such as this augments additional training the Kandahar Role 3 course is providing, marking the first time the entire staff of a forward-deployed medical facility has trained together.

"NEMTI has always been responsive to the sorts of training we put forth," he said. "These personnel are going to one of the most dangerous places on earth, and we're getting them ready to do their job to the best of their abilities: saving the lives of Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines."

The U.S. Navy assumed responsibility for the Kandahar Role 3 Hospital operations from Canadian forces in August 2009, and a newer, more modern $60 million facility was opened in May 2010. Previous training for medical personnel deploying to the Kandahar Role 3 hospital centered primarily on combat skills, a necessity for deployed service members.

Program managers, however, recognized the need to integrate medical training scenarios to expand upon the knowledge and skills required to fill positions at the Kandahar Role 3 facility.

Service members completing the Kandahar Role 3 Hospital course will next complete military requirements at training sites such as Fort Dix, N.J. or Fort Jackson, S.C.

NEMTI, the premier U.S. Navy training facility for expeditionary medicine, reports to the Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) in Pensacola, Fla., and Navy Medicine Support Command (NMSC), headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla.

NEMTI, NMOTC and NMSC are part of the Navy Medicine team, a global health care network of 63,000 Navy medical personnel around the world who provide high quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries.

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