MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Driving can be a tough task to handle depending on the terrain, location and type of vehicle, especially while driving in combat.
A small group of Marines from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment attended a week of courses and tests for driving High-Mobility Multi Wheeled Vehicles put together by the Marine Corps College of Continuing Education here, May 1-5.
“We build it (the courses) to the requirements and specifications determined by the subject matter experts,” explained Steve A. Brown, director of customer outreach of the MCCCE. “We go to the schoolhouses of the motor vehicle operators and ask them what it is they need in these courses to better teach the non-trained vehicle operators.”
For a week’s time, the Marines took courses in the basic knowledge of operations, safety and maintenance of the HMMWV’s they will be using here and in combat.
Many of the Marines attending were new to the Corps and are not specifically trained to drive vehicles. This melting pot of specialties brought into the course helps get qualified drivers out into the ranks, said Susan Akers, a member of the Training and Education Command from Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.
“This electronic course is designed to replace the classroom part of the HMMVW training for incidental operators,” explained Akers. “What they have found is there is a higher incident of accidents among incidental drivers than to MOS (military occupational specialty) trained drivers.”
Many Marines who were in Iraq are a part of the new electronic course as well. Marines like Pfc. Daniel T. Parks, an infantryman with Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, who was in Iraq and drove a HMMWV in combat situations.
“The course prepares the Marines how to drive here, but when in combat, you will face all different kinds of situations,” Parks explained. “They are given a foundation where they can build upon it and learn more when they get to combat.”