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Home : News
NEWS | Aug. 9, 2012

Kuwait: Michigan National Guard Transportation Company conducts drivers training for units in Kuwait

By Army National Guard Sgt. Kenneth Fahnestock Michigan National Guard

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - Members of Michigan National Guard's 1462nd Transportation Company, 113th Sustainment Brigade, recently trained Soldiers on the M1070 Heavy Equipment Transporter, or HET, during an eight-day course held here.

Instructors for the course were Army Staff Sgt. Timothy Ambrose and Army Sgt. Michael McBride, who have been convoy commanders for more than 50 combined HET missions here since February 2012.

The students - from 3rd Infantry Division and Tennessee Army National Guard's 230th Engineer Battalion - although not part of a transportation unit, come from units that use the HET as part of their mission. The system is used by engineer companies to transport heavy construction equipment over the road, and Forward Support Battalions like the 203rd FSB work with combat units that use the system to move armored fighting vehicles and tanks to and from the battlefield.

The HET is the largest, and most complex, vehicle used for transporting Army equipment, and can haul up to 70 tons over improved or unimproved roads.

Consisting of 80 hours of instruction over eight days and, the training was taught by National Guard Soldiers to members of the Active Army.

Ambrose and McBride covered key items like an overview of the tractor and the M1000 trailer, performing preventive maintenance checks and services or PMCS, changing tires, coupling and uncoupling the truck and trailer, and driving both the tractor and the full system with and without a load.

Students also worked extensively on driving the HET system, utilizing the company's dedicated training area to navigate a serpentine course designed to mimic the Entry Control Points on Army installations in Kuwait.

When asked how he thought the training went Ambrose said, "I thought they did really well. We had one re-certification, and all the others were new to the HET, but they all seemed to grasp things without any trouble."

He also spoke about how different teaching methods were positively received by the students, commenting that, "We kept it pretty relaxed, and it seemed to go well that way. [The students] liked that we could teach them what they needed to learn, and how to do things the right."

The culmination of the course was for the students to complete a real mission of traveling to Camp Buehring - a four hour drive one-way in a HET - to load an M88 Recovery Vehicle, a tracked, armored "tow truck" for tanks, and return to Camp Arifjan.

This required students to use all the knowledge learned in class; from preparing their trucks and trailers for the mission, to loading the 60-ton M88 onto the trailer, to successfully navigating the busy Kuwait highways returning to Camp Arifjan with their load.

Along the way, they also received additional training in self-recovery, when one of their HETs broke down and they had to load it onto a trailer and haul it back.

Ambrose validated the class's performance, by pronouncing all of the students as being ready to go out on the road for missions with their respective units. At the end of the course, each student was presented a certificate identifying them as a trained HET operator ready to put their new-found skills to use.