5th AR's Renegade Battalion Refines MRAP Training
McGREGOR RANGE BASE CAMP, N.M. - The Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle training mission was foreign to the Renegade Battalion, 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade until January 2012 when the Coyote Battalion, who previously owned the mission, redeployed to its home station.
Typically, air defenders don't work with MRAPs. But the battalion's observer controller/trainers trained for the mission and worked intently to redevelop and refine the training lane after taking over.
"For months, including a couple of months in the summer, we trained utilizing the MaxxPro Base model (MRAP), which caused for a very uncomfortable ride," said Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Doran, Task Force Renegade observer controller/trainer.
A big improvement to the development of the MRAP training lane came last summer, when Renegade received 21 new MaxxPro Dash model MRAPs.
"The MaxxPro Dash model (MRAP) is a big improvement to conduct training in because of the smoother ride with the upgraded suspension and ability to actually control the temperature to our liking," Doran said.
The MaxxPro Dash model MRAP has a life support system that can be controlled by specific temperature selection instead of ambient air temperature, a helpful feature in the desert temperatures of Texas and New Mexico.
The overall objective for all Renegade observer controller/trainers is to provide joint warfighters with a training experience that will prepare them for their deployments and give them a greater ability to survive in a combat zone.
Senior Renegade observer controller/trainers worked to gain the most up-to-date information from multiple training resources outside of the organization, including classroom instruction material related to the MaxxPro Dash model MRAP.
"This is the best Army driver's training I have received, because we actually get licensed to operate the vehicles outside the training environment," said Staff Sgt. Matthew Adams, a member of the U.S. Air Force's 557th Engineer unit.
Senior Renegade observer controller/trainers are working to incorporate an off-road driving course to allow joint warfighters to experience front and side slope elevation differences along with uneven terrain, which they will encounter during their deployment.
Proof of how much the MRAP training lane has improved since the Renegade Battalion took over has come from accolades given to the battalion from senior leaders within Division West. The lane was recognized by the division's operations section as one of the best training lanes within Division West during a recent visit to observe the 5th Armored Brigade's task forces. For more information contact: First Army Division West Public Affairs First Army Division West (254) 553-5003 (254) 630-4944 Fort Hood, TX 76544 firstname.lastname@example.org
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