Sunday, February 7, 2010

A blog by any other name ...

DISCLAIMER: This post has absolutely nothing to do with my running streak.

What's in a name? Have any of you ever wondered why my blog is named "Never a Dull Moment"? If you know me at all, probably not. If you have wondered, let me explain by way of example.

This weekend was drill, and occasionally drill weekends are at Ft. McClellan instead of at our home station in Birmingham. This was one such drill. The two main tasks for the weekend were PMI (Preliminary Marksmanship Instruction) and HEAT training. The former, as I'm sure you gathered, is weapons training (for everyone but the chaplain of course ... we're non-combatants). But the second task is not what you might think. This was NOT a brief on how to deal with hot weather. In case you haven't figured this out yet ... the military loves acronyms. This one stands for HMMWV Egress Assistance Training. You may also notice that knowing what an acronym stands for doesn't always help. :o) This one is training for exiting a Humvee that has rolled over. It seems there have been a number of casualties in the past due to rollover accidents, so the military developed this training. It helps you to know important facts, like bracing yourself with your arm before releasing your seat belt. (If the vehicle is upside down and you release your seat belt without bracing yourself, you could get seriously injured due to dropping on your head.) This training also helps reduce the panic should one find themselves in this situation. It is easy to get disoriented when everything is upside down. I, for one, couldn't get my door open. This was not because I couldn't find the door latch (though that did take a second), but because I was pushing on the hinge side of the door. Comical I know, but when you've been spun around, hung upside down, flipped your body around in a very tight space, and are trying to exit the vehicle, nothing is very clear except the feeling that you want to get out.

Yes, this is my life ... and it should confirm why I entitled my blog what I did. But believe it or not this training was actually quite fun. I even volunteered to go again when our final group didn't have enough to fill the vehicle. (I needed to redeem myself with the door.)

But you don't want to just hear about this kind of stuff ... you want to see it! So I found a video on YouTube. This is not my unit, but it is the same type of simulator we used. Also, note that the instructions were not only to get out but to help others out of the vehicle as well. In this particular video, the soldiers on the other side of the humvee got out first and came around to help. Then all four position themselves at the four corners of the vehicle for security. (This is important since one cause of a rollover could be the Humvee hitting an IED. The enemy could likely be close by to watch their handiwork.) It's a lot to think about, which is why this training is so helpful. I'm glad to know it, but hope to never have to use it.

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