MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE --
Teamwork was paramount to winch all-terrain vehicles from muck and mire during the all-terrain vehicle training course aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Sept. 19.
Marines of Marine Special Operations Battalions attended training to become certified for proper use of the ATV and to learn how to use the vehicles required in their daily mission.
The course, which has trained 175 service members in 2013, consists of basic maneuvering training through a series of cones so students learn initial handling of the vehicles, as well as trail riding through varying terrain, mud, water and soft sand.
Jesse Turner, occupational safety and health specialist with base safety and instructor for the ATV safety course, said the course is universal and helps train Marines for use on ATVs in tactical use as well as recreational.
The sport quad and the utility ATV are the most commonly used ATVs, explained Turner. The sport quad usually has street tires and is utilized on the street and drag strips while the utility ATV is for off road use and is equipped with high tread all-terrain tires.
“The course provides knowledge on the safe riding and handling of an ATV,” said Turner. “It also covers safely navigating different terrain and also how to maneuver around obstacles.”
Turner added, Marines in combat use the ATV tactically because it goes where humvees and Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles can’t traverse and allows high priority missions to function easily.
“It doesn’t matter how you are using the ATV or what your skill level is, you can still get hurt,” said Turner.
Cpl. Robert Wigginton, a motor transportation mechanic with 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, said he learned how to navigate terrain, handle different situations, check the vehicle for serviceability for use and to not abuse the ATV.
“A lot of units don’t get the opportunity to use ATVs,” said Wigginton. “If they ever get the chance to use an ATV, this course can teach them how to handle the equipment and situation much better.”
Wigginton added, the course is a great experience for new or experienced drivers and highly recommends it to fellow Marines.
Along with basic knowledge on use and safety of operating an ATV, students learned how to operate the front mounted winch to help clear muddy areas as well as lift other ATVs for easy servicing.
Along with critical skills, students in the course received certification cards allowing the Marines to operate the ATVs for use on all Department of Defense installations and recreational use in accordance to Marine Corps order 5100.19F.
Turner stated recreational use of ATVs is prohibited aboard Camp Lejeune for service members and family, but hopes increased attendance to the training course will allow trails to be opened up in the future.
To sign up for the training course, service members can visit www.navymotorcyclerider.com or call 451-5903 for more information.
Find us on Google + (http://gplus.to/camp.lejeune)
Follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/camp_lejeune)
Like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/camp.lejeune)