Humvee Rollover Trainer by ProQuest


Humvee rollovers were an ongoing concern for U.S. Army leadership, particularly as combat increased in Iraq. This article shares the story of the development, testing and fielding of a Humvee egress assistance trainer, and how its success has helped decrease the number of injuries and fatalities associated with vehicle rollovers. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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									 Employee Engagement
    Employee Engagement

 Rollover Trainer
                       An officer’s quest to save lives in combat
                                                         By James Jennings

                        does not normally work in favor of an individual
                        soldier who has a good idea. Funding, building and
                        fielding a new training device requires years of nav-
                        igation through countless layers of bureaucracy. In
                                                                                   What the Data Revealed
                                                                                       Cox was the lowest-ranking officer in the U.S.
                                                                                   Army’s Forces Command (FORSCOM) Safety
                                                                                   Division, an office of military safety professionals
                                                                                   6,700 miles from the sands of Iraq. As the person
                        this case, however, a young officer armed with             who collected and analyzed daily casualty reports,
                        exceptional persistence and an innovative spirit took      Cox saw the same incident causation entry repeat-
                        a great idea from a back-of-the-napkin concept to          edly: Humvee rollover.
                        operational testing in less than 7 months. The story           The accompanying injury descriptions were pre-
                        of the Humvee egress assistance trainer (HEAT) is          dictable: fatal head injury, broken back, paralysis
                        an extraordinary tale of a military officer’s quest to     from broken neck. Gunners
                        save lives. The impact of the HEAT fielding is meas-       perched in the roof-mounted
                        urable. Military vehicle rollovers and associated          turrets had another repetitive
                        fatalities in combat each dropped by more than 60%         entry: killed when thrown from
                        in the 2 years following the fielding of the trainer.      vehicle. Another tragic fatality
                                                                                   cause: drowned when trapped
                             Recognizing the Problem                               in overturned submerged vehi-
                                The U.S. Army had a serious problem and no one     cle. Ground vehicle simulation
                                        quite knew what to do about it. It was     training had never advanced
  James Jennings, CSP, is a newly 2005 and the Army’s high-mobility, multi-        past the “good idea” stage.
   retired Army Reserve Lieutenant purpose wheeled vehicle, the ubiquitous         However, Cox decided to take
Colonel and is a Department of the Humvee, was rolling over at an alarming         the lead in the effort to develop
       Army civilian employee. He is rate during combat operations in Iraq.        a training device.
   the tactical safety officer for the The problem confounded commanders,              CW3 Cox was an officer in
  101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st senior noncommissioned officers (NCOs)          the U.S. Army Reserve and a
     Airborne Division (Air Assault), and military safety professionals: How to    member of the FORSCOM
              based in Fort Campbell, stop the rollovers or at least make the      Safety Division’s Army Safety
         KY. Jennings holds a B.S. in events survivable.                           Augmentation Detachment
 Engineering from the U.S. Military        Chief Warrant Officer Three (CW3) Rik   (ASAD), a 110-person organi-
     Academy at West Point, NY, an Cox had an idea, one that had been dis-         zation comprised of trained
M.A. in Humanities from California cussed by various military leaders and          ground and aviation safety
  State University, Dominguez Hills, safety personnel, yet had never been          officers. Since Sept. 11, 2001,
     and is completing an M.B.A. at aggressively pursued. What if vehicle          ASAD has mobilized and
             Tennessee Technological occupants could experience a realistic        deployed 60 officers and NCOs
   University. He was named ASSE’s rollover simulation in training? They           as individual augmentees to
 Safety Professional of the Year for could then know exactly how to react.         military staffs in Iraq, Afghan-
  2009. Jennings has deployed as a The driver and gunner could be trained to       istan and Kuwait. With the
   tactical safety officer for tours in recognize the feel of the 25º angle at     exception of aviation units, the
            Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and which the top-heavy uparmored Humvee          typical Army brigade was not
      Afghanistan. He will return to tips over. In addition, the occupants         staffed with a full-time safety
     Afghanistan for a fifth tour of would recognize the value of using seat-      professional in 2003. Although
             duty in November 2010. belts, even in combat.                         div
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