EVANS ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. - U.S. Army troops are always preparing
for their next mission, whether it be for an upcoming field exercise
or training to support combat operations. The 396th Transportation
Company is no different, and the Fort Stewart, Ga., based unit is
currently focused on teaching the “Hell on Wheels” company how to
properly conduct convoy operations.
Sgt. Dusty Gill, Pvt. Bree Morris and Spc.
Enrico Quezada sit in a combat convoy tactical training simulator at
Evans Army Airfield on Dec. 4, 2013. The soldiers, assigned to the
396th Transportation Company, 87th Combat Sustainment Support
Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, learned
how to properly conduct convoy operations using the virtual convoy
trainer. (U.S. Army photo Spc. Rochelle Krueger, 3rd Sustainment
Brigade Public Affairs)
Approximately 20 Soldiers with the 396th Transportation
Co., 87th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd
Sustainment Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, received
hands-on convoy training, Dec. 4, 2013. This convoy,
however, didn't require the Soldiers to physically traverse.
Instead, they took to Evans Army Airfield to steer
stationary vehicles through simulated mountainous terrain
inside a virtual combat convoy tactical trainer.
CCTT essentially uses computer-based systems and simulators
that replicate military trucks like the high mobility
multipurpose wheeled vehicle. The modified HMMWV is
surrounded by 360-degree, full projection screens used to
mimic a combat environment.
“This is an introductory
course of convoy tactics for many of our new Soldiers,” said
2nd Lt. Adam Holton, a platoon leader for the 396th TC. “We
use simulators to gain familiarization with the vehicles and
weapon systems before we get them out on the road driving.”
After returning from supporting convoy operations in
Afghanistan in May, the 396th Transportation Company has
since received an influx of new Soldiers, some who
transitioned from another unit and other Soldiers who are
brand new to the Army.
“These simulators give newer
Soldiers experience and allows them to think about the many
possibilities when you're in a convoy,” said Staff Sgt. Tim
Bowden, 396th TC platoon sergeant. “You always need to stay
honed on your skills, and training on these simulators is a
great way that Soldiers can do that.”
Michael Poole, assigned to 396th TC, agrees.
a lot of experience as to what could happen when I'm a
gunner in a vehicle,” said Poole, a native of Newman, Ga.,
who has served in the Army for 10 months. “It's important to
gain knowledge and train because you can only get better.”
Bowden, an Atlanta, Ga., native, said the training also
helped the junior noncommissioned officers gain experience
as a truck commander. Convoy Commander Sgt. Dusty Gill was
responsible for the load plan in each vehicle and charged
with the task of understanding how to react in the event one
vehicle came into contact with combat.
the muscle memory of how to react is very important,”
explained Gill, from Centre, Ala. “It needs to be second
nature in order for someone to automatically react; this
training allows us to work on that.”
Soldiers complete the training, the CCTT offers a play-back
feature so that the Troops can assess their tactics and
learn from any mistakes. Holton said once the Soldiers
become well-rehearsed with the simulator, the next step is
to practice on actual convoy lanes.
“We need to get
our Soldiers prepared before we move on to a live-fire
situation,” said Gill.
By U.S. Army Spc. Rochelle Krueger
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