For most, crawling along in a training lane at less than 2 mph sounds grueling. For the men and women from Bravo Company, 898th Brigade Engineer Battalion, it’s a sense of normal after a very unusual year.
“March was the unit’s first drill back in person after not being together for nearly a year,” said 2nd Lt. Calvin Leque, platoon leader with Bravo Company, 898th Brigade Engineer Battalion stationed in Vancouver. “We have missed that team building, comradery during this past year.”
One of their first training events is to learn about the Husky Vehicle-Mounted Mine Detection System, or Husky VMMD, a configurable counter-improvised explosive vehicle that is designed for route clearance and demining. This week, eight soldiers from the unit took part in a one-week training academy on Joint Base Lewis-McChord with instructors from Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
“We have been doing training around the globe since I joined the team and since 2016 we have fielded more than 350 Huskies into the Army,” said Tory Adams, materiel fielding team chief for the Husky Mounted Detection System.
Battle tested since 2006, the Husky has been touted as one of the safest mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles in the Army. The V-shaped hull reduces blast effect by increasing ground clearance and standoff from the blast. It also is designed to break apart in the event of a blast, protecting the operator in the middle of the vehicle safe in the bullet proof cabin.
“This is the first time seeing this equipment, so it is good for our guys to see this, get hands on and learn how to operate the vehicle,” said Leque. “It is definitely different than driving a regular vehicle with the center drive seat.”
While the training is valuable for future missions of Bravo Company, the unit will have to wait to continue training on the Husky after it returns from an upcoming deployment.
“We are currently scheduled to deploy to Poland in early 2022 and the mission we will be on will not involve route clearance,” said Leque. “But it is still good to get familiar with the equipment before we switch our focus to training up for mobilization. When we return we will be fielding and training on the Husky again.”