Countermeasure Magazine_ August 2005 by liwenting

VIEWS: 11 PAGES: 26

									Going Somewhere?
OPERATIONS DIVISION
G3, U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center


       housands of Soldiers are either in    Class C ammunition, corrosives

T      or on their way to Iraq and
       Afghanistan—some for the
       second or third time. If you’ve
been there before, you’re familiar with
                                             improperly certified and mixed with
                                             unidentified hazardous lubricants, MRE
                                             rations and undocumented insecticides
                                             on the same pallet, lack of MILSTAMP
the many different problems associated       advanced cargo clearance, improper
with living and fighting in the desert. If   storage, and improper security.
it’s your first deployment, consider                 Train load teams to standard.
yourself fortunate that recent experience            Use Quality Assurance Specialist
has provided numerous lessons learned        Ammunition Surveillance support.
so you don’t have to figure things out               Nest all equipment and supplies
the hard way.                                inside vehicles to minimize damage
You’ve already trained for the fight. It’s   from rough handling at ports and on the
just a matter of getting there now.          high seas.
Highlighted in the paragraphs below are              Comply with Air Force Regulation
certain unsafe hazards that have             71-4 in airlift of hazardous materials and
caused accidents in the past, followed       with guidelines in Technical Manual 38-
by control measures. Remember that           250 (11 December 2001).
safety, survival, knowledge, and                     Ensure vehicles have required
common-sense thinking will lead to           tie-down shackles.
mission accomplishment and bring you                 Keep personnel from under
home safe.                                   equipment being lifted aboard ship.
Hazard: Individuals abandoned safety                 Coordinate and understand
in an effort to establish “combat            requirements for topping off vehicles
posture.”                                    before shipment.
        Ensure all personnel know and                Coordinate port of embarkation
use the five-step risk-management            shipping requirements for bulk fuel and
process and Composite Risk                   petroleum, oil, and lubricants tank
Management in all operations.                transporters through the servicing
        Establish a command climate          installation transportation office.
from the outset that promotes safety.                Ensure that vehicle master
Begin by establishing a safety network       switches are turned off immediately after
and designating safety personnel.            loading.
        Train to standard, enforce           Hazard: Chemical agent resistant
standards, and require all personnel to      coating (CARC) was used to repaint
perform to standard in all operations.       vehicles for deployment.
  Ensure leaders complete the                        Ensure CARC painting is
Commanders’ Safety Course.                   completed in accordance with
Hazard: Unsafe loading and shipment.         established requirements.
Examples of violations include failure to            Caution users that liquid CARC is
identify and mark containers, mixing         flammable.
Class A explosives with incompatible
        Caution users that CARC is toxic       on personnel, training, terrain,
and exposure to vapors or dust can lead        environment, and equipment). Army
to respiratory problems. It’s also             Regulation 600-55, chapter 1-4, outlines
carcinogenic and can cause cancer.             these responsibilities.
        Ensure Soldiers wear proper              Ensure drivers are trained and licensed
personal protective equipment.                 on the vehicle they are operating (check
Hazard: Air travel caused dehydration          Optional Form 346).
and fatigue.                                            Ensure drivers drive defensively.
        Encourage hydration before and                  Remind drivers to clear all sides
during air travel with juices and water,       before turning.
not caffeine or coffee.                                 Remind drivers not to allow
        Ensure arriving troops are given       passengers to ride on the outside of any
the opportunity to rehydrate and rest          vehicle unless such action is command-
before being assigned duties.                  directed.
        Once on the ground, ensure                      Caution drivers to use extra care
Soldiers have sunscreen, sunglasses,           when operating off improved roads.
and dust goggles, and that everyone            Sand dunes drop off abruptly on the
knows where water is available.                leeward side.
Hazard: Lack of depth perception in the                 Check loads to ensure cargo is
desert environment.                            secured correctly. Stress even load
        Stress that lack of contrast in        distribution, especially when traveling
terrain features reduces depth                 over sandy terrain.
perception.                                            Train Soldiers on rollover
        Ensure vehicle drivers follow          procedures in accordance with Graphic
proper ground-guide procedures.                Training Aid 55-03-030 and practice
Hazard: Soldiers are performing                rollover drills.
strenuous manual labor.                                 Enforce seatbelt and Kevlar
        In general, 2 weeks are required       requirements.
to adjust to the humidity and extreme                   Establish and enforce safe
heat (acclimatization).                        convoy and catch-up speeds for
        Remind Soldiers to avoid strains       expected road and environmental
and lifting injuries by using proper lifting   conditions and include in the pre-march
techniques (lift with the legs, not the        briefing. Remind drivers that driving too
back) and getting help with heavy loads.       fast for conditions is a primary cause of
Hazard: Vehicle operations result in           accidents.
accidents.                                              Train drivers in the correct use of
  Ensure all primary and secondary             ground guides and train all personnel in
drivers have the opportunity to                how to perform as ground guides.
experience driving armored tactical            Remind drivers to always use two
vehicles before arriving in theater and        ground guides while backing.
beginning actual combat missions.                       Recon routes for mountain
  Ensure drivers and vehicle                   passes or any sharp turn that might
commanders understand the                      require special control measures, as
responsibilities for safe vehicle              well as bridges or underpasses that
operations (e.g., establishing and             might be too low for large vehicles.
enforcing safe vehicle operations based
  Train all drivers in their vehicle’s                    Prohibit burning of aerosol cans
correct braking procedures.                       and unopened MRE packages—they
         Train crews in vehicle fire drills       will explode.
and practice them.                                         Train Soldiers in the process of
         Caution drivers that roads,              burning human waste.
bridges, and overpasses might not be              Hazard: Eye exposure to sunlight
posted with weight or height restrictions.        degrades night vision.
         Require safety briefings for                      Enforce wear of the Ballistic
senior occupants and vehicle drivers.             Laser Protection System (BLPS). The
         Require the use of 10-foot               sunglasses will reduce the adverse
extension hoses and tire cages for                effects of sunlight on night vision. The
inflating and deflating split-rim tires.          sunglasses and clear lens also will help
Hazard: Not enough attention to                   prevent eye injury.
weapons safety.                                            If BLPS aren’t available, ensure
         Review fratricide prevention             Soldiers wear Wiley X sunglasses
procedures.                                       during the day to prevent night vision
         Remind Soldiers to handle all            degradation.
weapons as if they’re loaded.                     For more information on general
         Caution Soldiers not to play with        deployment safety, check out these
knives.                                           Web sites:
         Don’t allow target practice and          •       https://crc.army.mil
blank ammunition to be mixed.                     •       http://call.army.mil
         Caution Soldiers not to burn             •       http://chppm-
ammunition boxes and to handle them               www.apgea.army.mil/
with gloves.                                      •       http://tri.army.mil
         Execute drills on rules of               •       http://deploymentlink.osd.mil/
engagement.                                       •       www.hqmc.usmc.mil/safety.nsf/
Hazard: Unsafe fuel handling and
burning.                                          Comments regarding this article may
         Use Field Manual 21-10 for               be directed to the editor at (334) 255-
guidance on proper fuel mixtures.                 1218, DSN 558-1218, or by e-mail at
         Ensure fuel isn’t used as a              julie.shelley@safetycenter.army.mil.
substitute for cleaning solvents.




Building Battlemind
LTC CARL CASTRO, M.D.
Chief, Department of Military Psychiatry
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command
“B
             attlemind” is a Soldier’s inner    (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom (OIF) began.
             strength to face adversity,        Studies have shown that Soldiers are
             fear, and hardship during          angry when leaders fail to show they
             combat with confidence and         care regarding combat experiences,
resolution. It’s the will to persevere and      especially those involving injury or
win. Battlemind contributes to the              death.
Soldier’s will and spirit to fight and win in   To help, leaders must ensure their
combat, thereby reducing combat stress          Soldiers don’t assume unnecessary
reactions.                                      risks on missions. Leader-led after-
         Soldiers are confronted with           action reviews and mental health
certain realities in combat operations          debriefings from mental health
that can’t be replicated in the training        professionals or chaplains can help
environment. Combat is sudden,                  relieve stress and anger. When a
intense, and life threatening. Their job        Soldier is killed, leaders should conduct
is to kill the enemy. Innocent women            memorial services with the utmost
and children often are killed in combat.        respect and dignity. Leaders also
No Soldier knows how they’ll perform in         should talk to their Soldiers personally
combat until the moment arrives.                about critical incidents. They won’t care
Although leaders can’t fully simulate           what their leaders know until they know
these factors before deployment, they           their leaders care.
can prepare their Soldiers for the mental       Combat impacts every Soldier mentally
aspects of combat before they arrive in         and emotionally.
theater.                                        Combat stress reactions are both
Fear in combat is common.                       common and normal. Experiences such
More than two-thirds of Silver Star             as nightmares, flashbacks, anger, and
recipients reported increased fear as the       avoidance of expressing painful feelings
battle progressed. Common symptoms              might lead Soldiers to fear they are
of fear include violent shaking or              “going crazy.” However, more than 90
trembling, loss of bladder control,             percent of Soldiers who receive combat
weakness, cold sweats, and vomiting.            stress support are returned to duty. The
Fear and anxiety are reduced in combat          intensity of reactions typically lessen
when Soldiers engage in actions used            within 60 to 90 days following
during training.                                redeployment, but it might take longer
Leaders must drill and train their              for a Soldier to fully recover.
Soldiers in the specific actions to use in      One useful tool for leaders is buddy-aid
combat conditions—tough training is the         mental health training. This process
best preparation. Soldiers must have            allows participants to assist other
sufficient physical and mental “reset”          Soldiers in coping with the stress of
time. Admitting and joking about fear           combat. Following redeployment,
will release tension. Fear is NOT a             leaders must watch their Soldiers and
mental disorder; remember that even             offer help to anyone struggling.
heroes feel fear.                               Restoring mental fitness after combat
Unit members will be injured and killed.        sustains professional warrior discipline,
More than 1,800 service members have            toughness, strength, and proficiency.
been killed and almost 14,000 wounded           Leaders also must let their Soldiers
since Operations Enduring Freedom
know that combat stress reactions are       considering the Soldier disloyal.
normal responses to trauma.                 Leaders do have the right, however, to
Soldiers are afraid to admit they have      remove, reassign, or demote
a mental health problem.                    subordinates who fail to measure up
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)       after being given the means and
symptoms are common after combat—           opportunities to succeed.
10 to 20 percent of Soldiers report some    Breakdowns in communication are
symptoms after coming home. Combat          common.
stress often leads to excessive alcohol     Soldiers have reported that deployment
use and aggression. It’s important not      policies often are inconsistently applied.
to ignore these symptoms, because           Soldiers also have complained that they
earlier treatment leads to faster           frequently don’t know the status of
recovery. Admitting a mental health         wounded comrades and will resort to
problem is not a character flaw.            rumors if their leaders don’t tell them the
Leaders can help by establishing a          facts.
command climate where they                  Leaders must keep their Soldiers
acknowledge their Soldiers are under        informed. Saying “I don’t know” is better
stress and might need help. In theater,     than not telling them anything.
collocating mental health assets with the   Command policies and views on all
battalion aid station or troop medical      matters should be expressed clearly and
center might encourage more Soldiers        made known throughout the ranks.
to seek help. A mental health outreach      Leaders also should let their Soldiers
program also should be provided to          know the status of wounded evacuees
each battalion. More information on         and disseminate news of their and other
PTSD can be found on the National           units’ successes. Effective
Center for Post-Traumatic Stress            communication is a leadership
Disorder Web site at                        responsibility.
http://www.ncptsd.org/index.html.           Deployments place a tremendous
Soldiers frequently perceive failures       strain on families.
in leadership.                              Since OIF began in March 2003, nearly
Good leadership is linked to higher         one-fifth of all Soldiers deployed to Iraq
Soldier morale and cohesion, better         have reported marital concerns or
combat performance, and fewer mental        problems. Soldiers have said their
health problems. However, Soldiers          marital satisfaction declined after they
have reported that leaders frequently       deployed to OIF. They also generally
engage in actions to enhance their own      are dissatisfied with their units’ family
career and personal well-being—not          readiness group (FRG) and rear
that of their troops. Soldiers also have    detachment.
complained that leaders often fail to       Leaders shouldn’t allow family problems
exhibit clear thinking and reasonable       to go unanswered. It might help to
action under stress. Courage and valor,     assign at least one staff member to
never personal gain, are the measures       serve as an ombudsman or expediter of
of Soldier and leader performance.          family problems. Deployed Soldiers
Leaders should allow subordinates to        also appreciate formal recognition of
seek clarification of orders or policies    special family occasions such as births
without responding defensively or           and graduations. Leaders also should
address any reported problems with the       Combat exposes the reality of death—
FRG or rear detachment to ensure             something many Soldiers will be
timely action.                               exposed to for the first time. These
The combat environment is harsh              situations test the character of both
and demanding.                               leaders and Soldiers. Every Soldier
The combat environment and its heat,         needs to come home with a war story he
noise, and lack of privacy takes a toll on   can live with.
Soldiers. Sleep is a big issue in theater.   Leaders should reward and recognize
Soldier performance progressively            their Soldiers on a regular basis for their
deteriorates with less than 8 hours of       personal sacrifices and tell them when
sleep daily. Soldiers also are extremely     they’ve done a good job. Harassment
sensitive to perceived inequalities in the   and mistreatment of Soldiers should
distribution of Morale, Welfare and          never be allowed. Leaders also must
Recreation (MWR) resources.                  discuss the moral implications of each
Leaders must ensure their Soldiers get       Soldier’s behavior in combat and how
adequate rest, hydration, and other          individual sacrifice contributes to
force-protection measures. They must         America’s enduring fight for freedom.
be aware of their Soldiers’ physical         Conclusion
condition and sleep patterns and insist               Combat isn’t easy on any Soldier.
that physical training is maintained         Leaders must keep their Soldiers
during the deployment. Leaders also          ready—both physically and mentally—
must insist on a fair distribution of MWR    for this fight and future conflicts. Use
resources and prevent double standards       the resources available and make sure
among officers, NCOs, and junior             your Soldiers are prepared for what
enlisted Soldiers.                           they’ll face in theater and back home.
Unit cohesion and team stability are
disrupted by combat.                         Editor’s note: This article originally was
Soldiers function best in combat with        published in the April 2005 NCO Journal
those they know. These bonds,                and was adapted for publication in
however, will be disrupted by combat         Countermeasure.
deaths, medical evacuations,
emergency leave, and other factors.          Contact the author by e-mail at
Changes in task organization and             carl.castro@us.army.mil.
forward operating base locations also
impact unit cohesion.
Leaders can lessen these impacts by
maintaining unit integrity to the greatest
extent possible. Units, not individual
Soldiers, should be rotated during
combat. Conducting team-building
exercises throughout the deployment
also might help. Finally, all new
Soldiers should be welcomed and
integrated into the unit immediately.
Combat poses moral and ethical
challenges.
Does Your Helmet Fit?

T
       Recent surveys conducted in Iraq    outlining proper wear and fit of these
       and Afghanistan show that as        two helmets.
       many as half the Soldiers serving   PASGT helmet
there are not properly wearing the         The PASGT helmet should be fitted in
Personnel Armor System, Ground             accordance with the instructions in
Troops (PASGT) helmet or the               Natick PAM 70-2 by measuring head
Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH).              length, width, and circumference. A
Soldiers whose helmets are fitted poorly   properly fitted PASGT helmet should
or worn improperly face an increased       have a minimum ½-inch space between
risk of injury or death from ballistic     the head and the helmet. A properly
threats and other head injuries. In        sized and fitted helmet will sit level on
response to this alarming finding, the     the Soldier’s head, with the lower edge
U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command          of the front rim being set at the top of
issued Safety of Use Message 05-006        the eyebrow and level to the ground or
slightly inclined with respect to the       size. The bottom of the ACH should
ground. When tightened, the chin strap      rest at the top of the Soldier’s ear canal
will be centered with equal distances on    opening.
each side between the chin cup and          Other information
mounting location on the helmet. The        Keep in mind that both helmets should
bottom of the PASGT should come to          be adjusted accordingly when other
the bottom of the Soldier’s ear.            items such as headsets, cold weather
ACH                                         caps, or nuclear, biological, and
A Soldier’s ACH size might not be the       chemical masks are worn. The
same as their previously issued PASGT       complete text of the technical references
helmet. For example, the front rim of       above, as well as visual examples and
the ACH rests about ½-inch higher than      videos of proper fit and wear
the PASGT. The ACH should be fitted         procedures, can be found online at
in accordance with the instructions in      https://www.peosoldier.army.mil. Be
Technical Manual (TM) 10-8470-204-10        sure to check out Graphic Training Aid
by measuring head length, width, and        07-08-001, which contains the fit and
circumference.                              wear instructions for both helmets in an
The ACH should fit so the front rim is      easy, printable format.
approximately ½-inch above the
eyebrows. A properly sized and fitted       Comments regarding this article may
ACH will sit level on the Soldier’s head.   be directed to the editor at (334) 255-
While looking upward by only moving         1218, DSN 558-1218, or by e-mail at
his eyes, the wearer should be able to      julie.shelley@crc.army.mil.
just see the rim’s edge. All ACHs
should be fitted with the thinner size 6
crown pad, which should touch the top
of the wearer’s head. Helmet fit can be
modified by adjusting the pad positions,
tightening the retention straps, or
exchanging the helmet shell for a larger
Got Sleep?
MAJ JUSTIN CURRY
Psychologist
U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD

          leep—like food, water, and air—               suffer a noticeable decrease in

S         is a necessity, not a luxury. In
          the combat environment,
          however, sleep is taken for
granted all too often. When you don’t
                                                        performance. If you’re consistently
                                                        awake for 24 hours, your reaction time
                                                        is worse than if you were legally
                                                        intoxicated. After 28 hours without
get enough sleep, performance suffers                   sleep, your performance is significantly
and everyone is put at risk.                            impaired, and the likelihood of you
The effects of sleep deprivation sneak                  making a critical error rises to an
up on you. When you don’t get enough                    unacceptable level.
sleep, your judgment is affected in many                Sleep management
ways. You can’t really gauge the impact                 To sustain performance over the long
those sleepless days and nights have                    haul you need at least 6, and preferably
on your abilities or the decrease in your               7 to 8, hours of sleep out of every 24
performance. The following scenarios                    hours. Your performance will degrade
illustrate just a few examples of                       over time with less than 6 hours of
accidents that can result from sleep                    sleep. Getting 4 to 6 hours of sleep
deprivation:                                            every 24 hours will keep you in the
   • Drivers falling asleep at the wheel,               “amber zone,” where the risk for
causing vehicle accidents and rollovers                 mission-critical errors is increased but
   • Medical personnel administering the                still at acceptable levels, for several
wrong type or wrong dose of medicine                    weeks. You’ll be in the “red zone,”
   • Soldiers failing to recognize or                   where the risk for mission-critical errors
reacting too slowly to a threat                         is unacceptably high, if you get less than
   • Soldiers transposing digits while                  4 hours of sleep.
entering coordinates into a fire control                Keep in mind that sleep doesn’t have to
system                                                  be continuous. Although uninterrupted
A sleep-deprived Soldier can make bad                   sleep time is preferred, several shorter
tactical decisions. The bottom line is                  sleep periods that add up to 6 to 8 hours
that sleep deprivation can get you and                  likely will be sufficient.
your buddies killed!                                    Tips for sleep management
Sleep deprivation and performance                        • Tips for Soldiers
The longer you go without sleep, the                         Don’t sleep in areas with regular
poorer your performance on any number                   activity or in or under any vehicle.
of tasks. Your performance begins to                         When sleeping, minimize exposure
suffer as soon as you start losing sleep.               to noise and light by wearing earplugs
If you’re struggling to stay awake, your                and blackout shades.
ability to function is already impaired.                     Avoid over-the-counter “sleep aids,”
In general, you can sustain normal                      which cause grogginess, not actual
performance without noticeable                          sleep.
impairment for about 16 hours after you
wake up. After 16 hours, however, you
     Sleep whenever possible; even a
little sleep is better than none. Several    Contact the author by e-mail at
“catnaps” can add up quickly.                justin.curry@us.army.mil.
•Tips for leaders
     Develop a unit sleep management         DID YOU KNOW?
program that allows your Soldiers at         Your brain creates dreams through
least 6, and preferably 7 to 8, hours of     random electrical activity. About every
sleep every 24 hours.                        90 minutes your brain stem sends
     Soldiers trying to sleep during the     electrical impulses throughout your brain
day require longer or more frequent          in no particular order or fashion. The
opportunities to sleep. These extended       analytic portion of your brain—the
periods compensate for the body’s            forebrain—desperately tries to make
normal reaction to sleep cycle               sense of these signals. This haphazard
disruption.                                  activity is why your dreams seem so
     Never put your Soldiers in a position   disjointed.
where they must choose between sleep
and something else they’d enjoy.
     Arrange sleep schedules so your
Soldiers can sleep at consistent times.
Caffeine
If sleep loss can’t be avoided, use
caffeine. Drink the equivalent of two
cups of coffee (about 200 mg of
caffeine) every 2 to 4 hours. This
amount will help you maintain your
performance even in periods of
moderate sleep loss. Keep in mind,
however, that caffeine is a temporary
solution to the problem and too much
can make you jittery.
You must have adequate sleep to
execute your missions accurately and
safely. Too many sleepless days and
nights and you’ll accumulate a sleep
debt that must be paid. Now go get
some rest!
Editor’s note: This article originally
appeared in the May-June 2005 issue of
Infantry and was adapted for use in
Countermeasure.


A Cure for Negligent Discharges?
CW2 ROBERT HAUBER JR.
Safety Officer
42nd Infantry Division
         he combat environment leads to        protrudes out the gun’s side at the dust

T       human error, whether the primary
        factor is fatigue, preoccupation
        with something other than the
mission, or a simple failure to stay alert.
                                               cover. Therefore, it’s impossible for a
                                               round to be in the chamber with the
                                               indicator installed. Any Soldier can tell
                                               the weapon is safe just by glancing at it.
Every day Soldiers are placed in a             The indicator should be installed when
multitude of situations that require           Soldiers enter any area where the
attention to detail to make sure their         weapons status is not red.
fellow Soldiers aren’t injured, maimed,        Many Soldiers deploying to Iraq and
or killed. Efforts to eliminate factors that   Afghanistan aren’t used to carrying
hurt Soldiers are vital links in the chain     ammunition, but it’s a reality in combat.
of accident prevention.                        In fact, many Soldiers involved in
         Soldiers gearing up for a combat      negligent discharge incidents have said
deployment must handle their weapons           they simply weren’t used to carrying
on a daily basis, and those weapons            ammunition. In addition to using the
never leave their side when they get to        Indicator, Safety Rifle, it’s also
theater. Yet many of these Soldiers are        recommended that Soldiers at the pre-
ill-equipped to make the transition to 24-     mobilization site carry a blank clip in
hour warfighter. The rash of negligent         their weapons. This exercise will get
discharge incidents since the beginning        Soldiers in the habit of dropping the clip
of the War on Terror illustrates the           before they pull the charging handle
importance of constant weapons status          back.
awareness. Most of the accidental              Negligent discharges don’t have to
discharges in theater to date have             happen. Training and the right
occurred in tents or in the dining             equipment can save Soldiers’ lives and
facilities at forward operating bases.         preserve combat readiness. Call your
         All Soldiers, whether they’re         supply chain today to procure this
training on a range or performing a            valuable piece of equipment!
combat mission in theater, must be
conscious in preventing negligent              Contact the author by e-mail at
discharges. However, Soldiers must             robert.hauber@us.army.mil.
also be provided the proper tools to
make this task more realistic. The
Indicator, Safety Rifle (NSN 1005-00-
418-8557) is currently available through
the Army supply system. This simple
piece of plastic can differentiate
between a “safe” weapon and a deadly
one.
         The Indicator, Safety Rifle (which
is compatible with all M-16 and M-249
weapons) is inserted into a weapon’s
chamber any time the weapon status is
green or amber. The indicator keeps
the bolt away from the breech and
                                             Leave It There!
                                             MAJ PATRICK J. CHAISSON
                                             42nd Infantry Division
                                             Camp Doha, Kuwait




   ’ve seen all kinds of things as officer   but I hope you’ll see this is a serious

I  in charge of the 42nd Infantry
   Division liaison cell in Camp Dohu,
   Kuwait. Every day I see Soldiers
attempting to bring illegal and
                                             subject.
                                                    So, you’re about to leave the
                                             combat zone for home. Your tour is
                                             over, and you want a souvenir of your
dangerous souvenirs home from Iraq.          time in the desert. But maybe you’re not
This article takes a humorous look at        sure what constitutes an “appropriate”
these “mementos” of wartime service,         memento from Operation Enduring or
Iraqi Freedom. That’s why I’m here—to           me, there’s already plenty of dirt in your
help you decide!                                backyard.
        Part of my job is to brief Soldiers              Weapons. A select-fire assault
on what they can and can’t bring back           rifle is an excellent and even necessary
from Southwest Asia. I’ll share these           item to have in the combat zone, but not
tips with you now. First, your keepsake         so much back home. Your neighbors
must be tasteful, safe, and legal. The          might be impressed with your new AK-
military customs inspector at your              47, but local law enforcement authorities
redeployment camp determines what’s             likely will be even more impressed.
safe and legal; your spouse back home           They’ll probably want to talk to you
has the final say on taste. While               about how you got such a powerful
shopping for souvenirs, think about what        weapon—maybe even through a
your wife or husband will say (or               bullhorn!
scream). That life-sized brass camel                     Ammunition, explosives, and
statue that looked so attractive in the         unexploded ordnance (UXO). Of all the
bazaar will get through customs but             things that can be used as a
most likely won’t pass inspection with          paperweight, the hand grenade is a poor
the “Household 06.” If you can imagine          choice. It’ll roll all over your desk and
your spouse exclaiming, “There’s no             maybe even detonate without notice.
way you’re bringing that thing into my          The term “dud” is commonly used to
house,” you might want to reconsider            identify UXO but also applies to anyone
your selection.                                 challenged enough to play around with
        All kidding aside, there are some       such stuff. Just because an explosive
“trophies” you simply cannot bring back         hasn’t gone off doesn’t mean it won’t.
to the U.S. These banned items might            It’s easy—keep your hands to yourself
seem obvious to anyone blessed with             and keep your hands! But don’t worry if
common sense, but as we all know,               you “accidentally” pack something you
common sense really isn’t that common.          shouldn’t. The big bomb-sniffing dogs
That’s why friendly customs inspectors          at the customs inspection will find it.
search your stuff before you go home.                    Cuban cigars. Anything that
To make their jobs easier and speed up          tastes this good has to be either illegal
your return home, here’s a partial list of      or bad for you. Cuban cigars are both.
contraband that can’t be brought back           Enjoy your Havanas in Iraq, because at
from overseas.                                  customs you’ll encounter a squadron of
        Sand. Southwest Asia currently          talking parrots specially trained to sniff
is experiencing a critical shortage of          out Communist tobacco.
sand—not even one grain can be                           Pets. The list of prohibited pets
spared! Besides, there’s a real threat          includes grasshoppers, lizards, camel
that the spirit of an ancient warrior king,     spiders, scorpions, snakes, and
like the one in “The Mummy” movies,             anything else that can make you say
lives in the sand and will hurt you bad.        “ouch!” Whether they’re dead or alive,
The king’s spirit isn’t the only thing living   squished, stuffed, or encased in plastic,
in the sand that can hurt you either.           there’s no earthly reason why you need
Just imagine all those microorganisms           a sand viper. And admit it—the whole
that aren’t organic to U.S. soil. Trust         time you were deployed, all you thought
                                                about was home. The desert is their
home. If you bring a pet back to the             but they’re scientifically classified as
U.S., it’ll spend the rest of its life missing   solpugids. Camel spiders have gained
home. Is that what you really want?              a lot of notoriety since the beginning of
         Hopefully these hints will help         Operation Iraqi Freedom, when various
you find the perfect—yet safe,                   e-mailed photographs and horror stories
appropriate, and tasteful—souvenir               began circulating around the Internet.
that’ll pass a customs search with flying        Camel spiders aren’t venomous, but
colors. Selecting the right memento will         they’re extremely aggressive and pack a
lead to years of pleasant memories,              mean bite. They rarely attack humans
something you’ll cherish long after the          but, if you see one, don’t play with it—
sand flea bites heal.                            and don’t bring one home!

Editor’s note: This article originally
appeared in the August 2005 The
Combat Edge, the U.S. Air Force’s Air
Combat Command safety publication. It
was adapted for use in
Countermeasure.

Contact the author by e-mail at
patrick.chaisson@us.army.mil.


DID YOU KNOW?
Camel spiders live in arid regions all
over the world—even the southwestern
United States, where there are more
than 50 species! These creatures are
arachnids, like spiders and scorpions,

Going Home
CW3 RANDY MCCORMICK
B Co., 1-106 Aviation Regiment
Illinois Army National Guard


      housands of Soldiers are deploying         children probably will be most affected,
T     to the Middle East, and the
      duration of these deployments
      most likely will stay at a year or
                                                 but you also might experience difficulty
                                                 with other social relationships.
                                                        The primary factor to consider on
longer. Being away from the people you           your return is the pre-deployment status
love for such a long time can create             of your relationship. If the relationship
issues that won’t be fully apparent until        wasn’t good before the deployment, it
you return home. Although these                  most likely won’t have improved any
strains might be evident during R&R              when you get back. Don’t think you can
leave, they usually won’t be fully               simply start over when you redeploy.
obvious until you’re redeployed. Your                   Your relationship with your
relationship with your spouse and                children will probably be most affected.
The extent of change depends on              time. Time and rebuilding your base
several variables, and each child’s age      relationship will help alleviate some of
is the best determining factor for           these feelings. Seek counseling if
reintegration. Babies typically are least    things don’t get better over time.
impacted and the quickest to recover,                It will be easiest for you to re-
although many don’t recognize the            establish relationships with your other
deployed parent. Teenagers typically         family members and friends. These
don’t show their true feelings about the     people will probably give you the biggest
returning parent, and it isn’t easy to       welcome home. Some Soldiers might
determine the deployment’s effects on        feel the welcome is undeserved,
younger adolescents. Don’t try to force      however, if they were deployed in a
yourself back into their lives; instead,     combat support role and never saw
give them time and space to adjust.          direct fighting. Even if you feel you don’t
Slowly work your way back into your          deserve the attention, try to remain
pre-deployment parenting role. Taking        positive. Your friends and relatives will
an extended vacation with your family is     want to celebrate that you’ve made it
a good idea, but delay leaving for a         home safe. Throwing a welcome-home
week or two. Your role in the family will    party will make them feel good after the
become more stable during these extra        time they’ve spent worrying.
days, ensuring a more enjoyable time                 If you’re a Reserve Component
for everyone when you do get away.           Soldier, remember you’ll have to re-
        Your spouse essentially has been     establish work relations with your civilian
a single parent during your deployment.      employer. Be honest when it comes to
They managed everything from                 terminal leave and your return-to-work
household chores to finances while you       date. It’s also important to know your
were away and might be reluctant to          rights before you go back to work. Your
give up control on many issues. You          local Employee Support of the Guard
must work with your spouse to                and Reserve representative will see you
determine your new role, but make sure       through any problems.
you let them know how you feel.                      Rebuilding your relationships will
Counseling might be required to resolve      take time when you get back home.
these types of issues, and options are       Realize you’re not the only one having
available through several different          problems, and talk to other Soldiers in
channels. Your chaplain or family            the same situation to see what’s worked
readiness group will have information to     for them. Be prepared for these
get you started. Don’t be embarrassed        changes, but also be happy you’re back
about seeking counseling. Some               with the people who matter most.
people need a springboard for their
thoughts or just an outside observer to      Contact the author by e-mail at
put things in perspective. Don’t wait to     randy.mccormick@us.army.mil.
request help, because by then it might
be too late to save the relationship.
        Your sexual relationship with your   NEED HELP?
spouse might be strained at first. Your      Adjusting to life back home after a
partner might feel abandoned;                lengthy, intense deployment may prove
remember they’ve been alone a long           difficult for many Soldiers and their
loved ones. To find out more about
available redeployment resources, visit
the Army OneSource Web site at
www.armyonesource.com or call their
toll-free number, (800) 464-8107.




Flash, Bang, Burn!
CW4 ROBERT BERRA
Accident Investigator
U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center


         foreign national engineer        CEA into a pile within 2 meters of the

A       element supporting coalition
        forces in theater was tasked to
        destroy various captured enemy
ammunition (CEA). It was a hot August
                                          HMMWV.
                                          The engineers didn’t notice that an
                                          unpackaged bag of double-base
                                          propellant had torn open and spilled on
afternoon—temperatures peaked at          and around the other munitions. Within
around 115 ºF. The ammunition             minutes, the spilled propellant flashed
included 18 SA-7 missiles, unfuzed 60     and ignited the remaining CEA on the
mm mortar rounds, 14.5 mm and .50         ground and in the HMMWV. Four
caliber ammunition, RKG-3M Soviet         engineers suffered various burn injuries,
hand grenades, and propellant bags        and the HMMWV was destroyed. The
from artillery rounds.                    foreign engineers learned the hard way
These munitions had been stored in an     that double-base propellants ignite
open pit and exposed to direct sunlight   easily, have a high burn rate, and can
for an undetermined amount of time.       self-ignite under high temperatures.
The engineers loaded the CEA into a       All CEA operations—including
HMMWV and drove to a demolition site,     collection, transportation, and
where they began to download the          destruction—are inherently dangerous
munitions by hand. They placed the        and pose a unique challenge for our
                                          forces. When you conduct a CEA
operation, you’re accepting the risks        with sand and packing material to
involved. Commanders must use the            prevent forward and backward
risk management process and plan             movement.
these type operations carefully to           • Handle all ammunition and explosives
mitigate the hazards. Only trained           carefully! Improper, rough, or careless
personnel should handle CEA; however,        handling can cause accidental
many of these munitions are being            detonation.
encountered in theater and the number        • Limit the number of personnel
of trained personnel is limited.             engaged in ammunition and explosives
Therefore, CEA operations often are          handling to the minimum required for
being conducted by personnel who lack        safe and efficient operations.
formalized training and certifications. To   • When transporting CEA, block and
minimize the risk, take the following        brace packaged items so they can’t
precautions:                                 move during transportation and always
• Improvised explosive devices (IED)         observe compatibility standards.
and unexploded ordnance (UXO) are            • Reference the following materials for
not classified as CEA. Don’t touch or        more information on safe handling
move a suspected IED or UXO.                 procedures:
Immediately mark the site and report the       - Field Manual (FM) 21-16,
location to Explosive Ordnance Disposal      Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)
(EOD) personnel through your                 Procedures, 30 August 1994
command channels.                              - FM 4-30-13, Ammunition Handbook,
• EOD personnel should be involved in        1 March 2001
both the planning and execution phases         - Department of the Army Pamphlet
of CEA operations. EOD personnel can         385-64, “Ammunition and Explosives
reduce the hazards of these operations       Safety Standards,” 15 December 1999
by providing an initial assessment to          - U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center
determine the hazard level and by            pamphlet, “Munitions Handling 101.”
destroying all items deemed unsafe for         - Army Safety Policy Memorandum, 28
transportation or storage.                   June 2004.
• Do not handle unpackaged munitions         CEA is abundant in our current theaters
until a positive risk category is            of operation. Leaders at all levels must
determined. Before this time, any            understand the proper procedures to
assessment must be made without              plan, execute, and react to CEA
handling the munitions.                      operations. Units must incorporate risk
• Personnel trained in ammunition            management into munitions handling
handling—such as certified Quality           operations to reduce the risk inherent
Assurance Specialists Ammunition             with these missions. Do your part on
Surveillance (QASAS) and Ammunition          the individual level and be safe!
Specialists (MOS 89B)—can determine
proper packaging, transportation, and        Contact the author at (334) 255-2908,
storage requirements.                        DSN 558-2908, or by e-mail at
• Whenever possible, use the original        robert.p.berra@us.army.mil.
shipping container for transportation and
storage. Other safe-to-ship packaging        Contact the author at (334) 255-2933,
includes empty ammunition boxes lined        DSN 558-2933, or by e-mail at
baldemar.gonzales@safetycenter.arm
y.mil.




Is There Anybody Downrange?
MSG ROBERT FISHER
Accident Investigator
U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center

           hat happened                                After locking and loading their

W          This was the first field training
           exercise for a new unit of
           action. The fire team received
live ammunition for a live-fire range
                                               weapons with the live ammunition, the
                                               fire team moved onto the range. As
                                               they exited the wood line and began to
                                               proceed down the range, the team
exercise. After receiving the                  leader saw two pop-up targets and
ammunition, the fire team walked to the        directed his Soldiers to react. The
range and began their training. The first      OPFOR Soldiers saw the fire team
sergeant was on the range and, after           approaching but didn’t fire their
the first dry-fire iteration (with no          weapons.
opposing forces [OPFOR] personnel              As the fire team reacted to the targets,
present), called the range safety officer      they separated into two buddy teams—
(RSO) on his hand-held radio.                  one on the right and one on the left.
The first sergeant asked the RSO to            The two Soldiers in the left buddy team
send forward OPFOR personnel. The              bounded forward while the two Soldiers
RSO immediately sent two Soldiers to           in right-side buddy team fired live
the range. Neither of these Soldiers had       ammunition at the two pop-up targets.
acted as OPFOR previously during this          At this point the OPFOR Soldiers were
training. The OPFOR Soldiers (with             in the right-side buddy team’s direct line
blank ammunition) were positioned              of sight. The right-side team then
downrange in accordance with the               bounded forward while the left-side
company’s training plan. The fire team         team engaged the near targets. Each
was supposed to conduct two blank              buddy team bounded one more time in
iterations with the OPFOR present.             the same manner. After this second
bounding movement, the buddy teams          was downrange before the live-fire
shifted their fires from the near targets   training began.
to the far targets. The buddy teams              •The company commander and first
didn’t move after the final bound.          sergeant failed to establish a clear
A platoon leader acting as the left-side    delineation of responsibilities. The
lane observer/controller (OC) asked the     company commander and first sergeant
company commander if the OPFOR              said they were providing tactical
were off the range. The company             oversight and weren’t responsible for
commander called “cease fire.” The          the OIC’s and RSO’s safety
buddy teams stopped firing even though      responsibilities. The company
they didn’t know why the cease fire was     commander and first sergeant made
called.                                     most of the decisions that pertained to
A platoon sergeant, who was acting as       the range, not the OIC or RSO. The first
the right-side lane OC, had forgotten the   sergeant made changes including range
OPFOR were on the range. He                 layout, order of fire, OPFOR location,
immediately started moving downrange        and rules of engagement.
to look for the OPFOR. While the                 •Both the RSO and OIC thought the
platoon sergeant was moving down the        company commander and first sergeant
range, the company commander saw            had taken over the range and were in
one of the OPFOR Soldiers stand up,         charge, even though their intent was to
visibly shaken.                             provide tactical guidance only. Both the
This OPFOR Soldier was 85 meters            OIC and RSO were located in the
from the final bounding position and 20     marshalling area during the accident.
meters left of the far target positions.    Lessons learned
He wasn’t in either of the buddy team’s          •Range OICs and RSOs must clear
direct line of sight. The company           personnel from all ranges and ensure
commander verified this OPFOR Soldier       the ranges are clear before beginning
wasn’t injured, but he soon saw the         live-fire operations.
other OPFOR Soldier lying in a small             •Range OICs and RSOs must be
tire rut. The second OPFOR Soldier          trained in separating their
had suffered fatal injuries during the      responsibilities for tactical evaluations
live-fire engagement.                       and safety.
The platoon sergeant didn’t know where           •Battalion commanders must ensure
the OPFOR had been positioned during        subordinate company commanders and
the training iteration. He found the        first sergeants know their roles and
OPFOR Soldiers and the company              understand that all actions or changes
commander only after he ran around the      must be coordinated with the OICs and
final objective.                            RSOs.
Why it happened                                  •OPFOR must not be placed on any
Three failures were present and             range where blank and live fires are
contributing in this accident:              being conducted simultaneously.
     •The range officer in charge (OIC)          •Commanders must coach, teach,
and the RSO failed to ensure the range      and mentor platoon leaders in troop-
was clear before the live-fire iterations   leading procedures, risk management,
began. Neither Soldier asked if anyone      and back briefs.
    •Range OICs must use range safety
checklists when conducting a safety
briefing.

Contact the author at (334) 255-9377,
DSN 558-9377, or by e-mail at
robert.fisher1@us.army.mil.




UXO and Explosives
JULIE SHELLEY
Editor


       his past February the Combat         range. The private and two other

T      Readiness Center (CRC)
       developed a new tool for
       commanders called “preliminary
loss reports” (PLRs), which are
                                            Soldiers were conducting a
                                            reconnaissance mission when they
                                            reportedly broke away from their 12-
                                            man party and crossed into another
generated for each Class A Army             range, where they were not authorized
accident involving a fatality. Every PLR    to be. They were taking pictures and
contains the basic facts of the accident    collecting dud rounds when the private
and suggested tactics, techniques, and      picked up the grenade. He was killed
procedures based on the information         instantly upon detonation.
available and lessons learned from          After the accident, explosive ordnance
similar accidents. The PLRs are sent to     disposal (EOD) personnel recovered
brigade commanders and above and            multiple dud rounds, including 40 mm
select command sergeants major to           target practice rounds and 37 mm
share lessons learned.                      rounds, from the private’s pockets.
Countermeasure will spotlight certain       There is a possibility that one to two 40
PLRs when a trend in ground tactical        mm high-explosive dual-purpose rounds
accidents emerges. This month’s “PLR        contributed to the Soldier’s injuries. The
Files” focuses on explosives accidents,     advance party reportedly was fully
which have killed three Soldiers since      trained on restricted areas (which also
May 2005.                                   were clearly posted as restricted) and
Iraq: A specialist died when a piece of     on the safety policies prohibiting the
UXO detonated in a tent. The Soldier        handling of ordnance. The accident
was packing gear to move from one tent      range was littered with a broad
to another when he either handled or        spectrum of ordnance, from small arms
unintentionally disturbed the UXO. The      to aircraft gunnery (short of missiles).
origin of the explosive item is unknown.    Afghanistan: A captain suffered fatal
United States: A private first class was    injuries when an explosive charge he
killed when a grenade exploded in his       was handling detonated. The unit’s
hand. The Soldier was in active duty for    Soldiers were emplacing linear-shaped
training status and was part of an          charges during “entry technique” training
advance party for live-fire training on a   at the local range when the charge
exploded unexpectedly. The captain           Contact the author at (334) 255-1218,
presumably was handling one of the           DSN 558-1218, or by e-mail at
explosives. Two other Soldiers and a         julie.shelley@us.army.mil.
foreign national troop were injured, but
all are expected to recover. Initial
reports indicate the Soldiers were not
wearing body armor.
Don’t let these type accidents happen in
your formation. Consider the following
actions to help prevent similar incidents:
    •Ensure personnel wear appropriate
personal protective equipment as listed
in Training Circular 90-1, paragraph 4-8,
when handling explosive charges.
    •Do not touch or move a suspected
UXO item. Leave that mission to EOD
personnel.
    •If you find a suspected UXO item,
mark the area, report it to your higher
headquarters, safeguard your
personnel, and follow UXO procedures
in accordance with Field Manual 21-16
and local procedures.
    •Check out the CRC’s Web site at
https://crc.army.mil/guidance/best_practi
ces/CFLCC_Safety_Gram_UXO.jpg for
a poster download. Hang the poster
where all personnel can see it.
    •Download the “Munitions Handling
During Deployed Operations 101”
handbook from the CRC’s Web site at
https://crc.army.mil/Tools/handbooks/gr
ound/munitionshandling.pdf for
additional information concerning UXO.
    •Aggressively enforce UXO safety
procedures.
To find the complete text of these and
other PLRs, please visit the CRC Web
site at https://crc.army.mil and click on
the “Latest PLRs” box on the right side
of the page. You must have an AKO
password to access the PLR site. Also
check out the article “Flash, Bang,
Burn!” on page 16 of this issue. Be
safe!
Accident Briefs
                             occurred during the          The vehicle had
ACV                          early morning.               overheated earlier in the
Class A                                                   day, but maintenance
Two Soldiers suffered        Class B (Damage)             personnel thought they
fatal injuries when the      An M978 HEMTT fuel           had corrected the
M113A3 Armored               tanker suffered Class B      problem. The driver
Personnel Carrier (APC)      damage when it struck a      shut down the HMMWV
they were riding in rolled   guardrail and rolled         when he noticed black
over. The vehicle’s          over. The driver was         smoke and flames
driver lost control when     merging with traffic         coming from underneath
the APC gained speed         when he steered the          the hood and through
going down a slight hill.    vehicle into the road’s      the heater vents. The
The accident occurred        soft shoulder and hit the    crew conducted an
during the mid-              guardrail. No injuries       evacuation drill but
afternoon.                   were reported. The           couldn’t find the
                             accident occurred during     vehicle’s fire
Class B (Damage)             the early morning.           extinguisher; instead,
An M1A2 Abrams                                            personnel in the tactical
caught fire during a         A 5-ton gun truck            operations center
training center live-fire    suffered Class B             brought extinguishers to
exercise. The fire           damage when it struck a      the accident site. The
originated in the tank’s     civilian vehicle and         extinguisher was not
electric mechanical fuel     rolled over. The civilian    stored in the proper
system. No injuries          vehicle turned in front of   place on the vehicle.
were reported. The           the gun truck, which         Maintenance
accident occurred in the     then ran over the vehicle    determined the fire
late afternoon.              and overturned off the       started under the fuel
                             roadway. The gun truck       filter, at which point the
                             driver was wearing his       main fuel line came
AMV                          seatbelt, and no injuries    loose and sprayed fuel
Class A                      were reported. The           in the engine
Soldier was killed when      accident occurred during     compartment.
the M1114 up-armored         the early afternoon.
HMMWV he was riding
in rolled over. The                                       Personnel Injury
                             Class C                      Class A
Soldier was serving as       An M998 HMMWV
the vehicle’s gunner and                                  Soldier suffered a fatal
                             caught fire and suffered     gunshot wound to his
was pinned in the            Class C damage while
vehicle after the                                         forehead during live-fire
                             its crew was conducting      training. The Soldier
accident. The accident       a police call on a range.    was evacuated from the
training area and died at   Soldier collapsed and         seatbelt kept him inside
a local hospital. The       died while taking the         the vehicle.
accident occurred during    Army Physical Fitness
the early evening.          Test. The Soldier did         Two Soldiers escaped
                            not respond to lifesaving     unharmed when their
A foreign national troop    procedures. The               M2A3 threw a track and
suffered a fatal gunshot    accident occurred during      overturned. The vehicle
wound after an Army         the early morning.            tracks locked when the
unit mistook the foreign                                  left-side track threw,
nationals to be enemy       Class B                       causing one of the track
forces and fired on         Part of Soldier’s left ring   shoes to break. The
them. The accident          finger was amputated          Soldiers were
occurred during the late    when it caught on the         conducting route
evening.                    rear of an LMTV. The          reconnaissance along a
                            Soldier was dismounting       main supply route. Both
Soldier collapsed and       the vehicle following         Soldiers were wearing
died after completing a     night driver’s training.      their personal protective
unit conditioning           The accident occurred         equipment (PPE) and
obstacle course and 2-      during the late evening.      seatbelts.
mile run. The Soldier
was pronounced dead at      Seatbelt Success              The driver of an
the local medical center.                                 M915A2 was not injured
The accident occurred       Stories                       when the truck
during the early            Spotlighting Soldiers         overturned en route to a
morning.                    who wore their seatbelts      forward operating base.
                            and walked away from          The truck was pulling an
Soldier collapsed and       potentially catastrophic      M872A3 trailer. A
died while running          accidents                     palletized load system
during physical training.                                 (PLS) trailer, which was
The Soldier was             Class C                       stacked with five PLS
transported to the local    The gunner of an M1025        flat racks, was loaded
medical center, where       HMMWV suffered minor          on the M872A3. The
he died a short time        injuries when his vehicle     truck overturned when
later. The accident         was hit head-on by a          the driver approached
occurred during the mid-    civilian tractor-trailer.     an extremely tight turn in
morning.                    The HMMWV was                 the road. The weight of
                            stopped on the side of        the flat racks and the
Soldier collapsed on a      the road when it was          trailer’s high center of
track while running and     struck by the truck,          gravity, along with a 10-
was pronounced dead         which drove through a         inch drop-off on the side
within an hour at the       concrete barrier before it    of the road, caused the
local troop medical         hit the HMMWV. The            accident. The Soldier
center. The accident        HMMWV’s driver was            was not speeding and
occurred during the         not injured. The gunner       was wearing his seatbelt
early morning.              was momentarily               and proper PPE.
                            dislodged from his seat
                            upon impact, but his
What Were They Thinking?
JULIE SHELLEY
Editor


       orrest Gump might not have been      sergeant took an M1009 Commercial

F      a smart man, but he got one thing
       right when he said, “Stupid is as
       stupid does.” These words came
to mind as I looked through the Class D
                                            Utility Cargo Vehicle for a preventive
                                            maintenance checks and services road
                                            test. Although they’d been instructed to
                                            stay on the asphalt roadway, the two
accident reports in the Combat              Soldiers figured they’d check out the
Readiness Center’s database,                vehicle’s off-road handling. Those open
searching for the right story to kick off   spaces were so tempting, and a small
the new feature you’re reading now.         hill beckoned in the distance.
There’s nothing funny when a Soldier        Thinking they’d found the perfect spot,
gets hurt, whether by his own hand or       the Soldiers jumped the truck over the
the enemy’s. However, there are some        hill. Since it was so much fun the first
“Duh!” incidents out there that could’ve    time, they jumped the hill again;
been much worse but fortunately             however, their good time was short
weren’t. This month’s feature is one        lived. The third jump was the charm (or
such story. The Soldiers involved will      strike, depending on how you look at it).
probably laugh about their “adventure”      On that fateful jump, the truck hit the
sometime in the future, but they’ve got     ground so hard its front end bent under
to get back in their commander’s good       and damaged several necessary parts.
graces first. If you have a story you can   Seeing they’d have a lot of explaining to
laugh about now, we’ll gladly publish it    do, the Soldiers decided to head back to
(anonymously, of course!) in this forum.    the hardball road. What they couldn’t
For more information on how to share        see, however, was the busted oil pan or
your story, send an e-mail to               the trail of oil the truck was leaving
countermeasure@safetycenter.army.mil        behind. The truck ground to a halt as
.                                           the engine froze, and the Soldiers had
“The A-Team”                                to call a wrecker to tow them to the
Cut the guys some slack—they were           armory.
just having a little fun, right? It was a   Luckily these two “stuntmen” were
beautiful summer morning in the             wearing their seatbelts and walked away
American desert. A private and a            unharmed. Their backsides, however,
didn’t fare so well and their driving days
are over, at least for now. The
classroom—not the open road—will be
their domain for the next few months.
Both Soldiers were ordered to retake the
Defensive Driver’s Course and were
counseled on the proper way to follow
instructions. They’ll also be attending a
risk management class before they
attempt any future activity. Lastly, these
two adventurous Soldiers won’t be road-
testing other vehicles any time soon.
Both their driver’s licenses were
suspended until their senior driver’s
training NCO can schedule them for
refresher training. Give them a break? I
don’t think so!

Contact the author at (334) 255-1218,
DSN 558-1218, or by e-mail at
julie.shelley@us.army.mil.

								
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