For those who haven’t served, especially in Iraq or Afghanistan, the perception of IEDs and roadside bombs are left to the imagination. We know they’re deadly, but not so much what it looks or feels like when one goes off.
The below footage shows a mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) convoy traveling down a road in Afghanistan when an IED explodes just feet in front of one of the vehicles.
The MRAP replaced all “up-armored high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) in Iraq with the mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) family of vehicles to protect soldiers from improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which account for over 70 percent of U.S. casualties in Iraq,” according to Army Sustainment.
Check it out:
The MRAP is flipped over, and this is when all the training the troops are given comes into play. There are more rollover accidents in Iraq and Afghanistan than anyone actually hears about so training is constantly being upgraded to teach the troops what to do in the event of a rollover. This video shows just how that training may have saved some lives.
The value of the training cannot be underestimated. It uses simulators and includes two drills that teach the troops how to get out of a rollover at both 90- and 180-degree angles. The convoy is spun around a few times, similar to what would happen during an IED explosion and then it is flipped over.
While inside, flipped over, and fastened in by a seat belt, the troops have to unfasten their seat belts, help comrades, maintain communication, and unlock the doors. The training teaches them how to do this as second nature and the training is as real as it gets.
According to the U.S. Army, “Conducting the training under controlled conditions will allow vehicle occupants to gain experience in the proper egress procedures. This training is necessary for Soldiers to achieve self-control and overcome the natural fear and panic following the catastrophic event which caused the vehicle rollover event.”
In the video, it is evident that those inside remembered what they had been taught and followed protocol to a tee. While there was some disbelief about what had just happened, there was never any panic.
It is unthinkable for the average civilian to comprehend what it must be like to never know when an explosion could happen, anytime or anywhere. This is a daily threat to the military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and all they can do is keep training and work with what they have.
The comprehensive training has helped to reduce causalities that resulted from rollover accidents, so it is definitely showing improvement.