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Airmen train in simulators, but it's for real!

Dec. 5, 2009 -- Strapped to a vehicle and upside down, some might panic and not know what to do, said Staff Sgt. Qiaxian Johnson, a civil engineer with the 108th Civil Engineer Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in N.J.

As members of the 108th CES prepare for a six-month deployment to the Middle East, several Airmen partook on the HMMWV Egress Assistance Training conducted Friday at the National Guard Bureau Joint Training and Training Center in JBMDL, N.J.
The HEAT exercise is a simulation training that hopefully will prepare Airmen to react to a vehicle rollover situation.
This training puts Airmen in situations similar to the experience of being on a vehicle that has flipped over. Disoriented from the violent motion of the flip over and with loose equipment and debris flying all over the inside of the cab, an Airman might easily panic, said Master Sgt. Louis Conzo, also a civil engineer here.
"The training will help them in these situations, so they will know what to do and they can assist anyone who needs it," said Conzo.
They can also apply these learning experiences in their civilian lives, added Johnson.
The training was very realistic and it's good to prepare yourself for these situations, said Senior Airman Jonathan S. Fernandez, another civil engineer here.
Fernandez, a Newark, N.J. native and a 4-year National Air Guard member, is scheduled to deploy to the Middle East at the end of December with the 108th CES.
In addition, Fernandez and several other members of the 108th CES continued their deployment preparation by training on the Virtual Interactive Combat Environment. The VICE training, as its name implies, simulates combat training within an urban environment and enables team-based training by taking the fight from room to room, floor to floor, and building to building.
The VICE training was also conducted Friday at the National Guard Bureau Joint Training and Training Center.
As the deployment nears closer and closer, these Airmen are being trained to survive in the hostile environments they might encounter. The training is simulated, but the learning experience is real.