Local News

Bragg troops practice escaping from flipped vehicle

Posted October 4, 2011 1:44 p.m. EDT
Updated October 4, 2011 11:03 p.m. EDT

— Members of Fort Bragg's 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade spent time at the Transit Center at Manas training center in Kyrgyzstan Tuesday learning how to escape from a rolled-over vehicle.

Soldiers got into a vehicle simulator, which slowly rolled them over onto the vehicle's roof. Through the chaos and confusion, the troops then learned how to get out quickly and safely.

"It’s better to practice it and know what you’re doing than panic and get hurt," said Spc. Kenneth Maxson.

Vehicle rollovers happen all too often in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan. Homemade bombs or driver error, such as speeding or over-correcting, are usually to blame for vehicle roll-over crashes that sometimes have deadly consequences.

For the Fort Bragg troops, getting out of a rolled vehicle must become second nature for the drill to have real, life-saving benefits.

“I think people got excited and tried to go too fast and had trouble with their belts, but I think (the training) helped out a lot so we could figure it out," said 1st Sgt. Daniel Moesch.

Soldiers wear full protective gear, including a vest that can weigh up to 40 pounds. The vests now come with a ripcord. When pulled, the vest quickly falls off, making it easier for the soldier to get out of a rolled vehicle, particularly if the vehicle rolls over into water.

The troops arrived in Kyrgyzstan Monday after a 25-hour trip. They left for Bagram Air Base, near Kabul, Afghanistan, around midnight Tuesday their time, or about 2 p.m. ET.