Chinook ‘Stage 1 Drill’ Trainer
JHC has just taken delivery of a Chinook Stage 1 Drill Trainer, a simple but effective Simulator made from an ISO container and some Chinook seating canvas.
It has successfully completed its first training session, teaching Stage 1 Drills (drills for the embarkation and dis-embarkation of a helicopter) to the troops of 20 Armd Bde preparing for deployment.
When reading of the shooting down of a Chinook in Afghanistan (a forced night landing in dust, with a smoke-filled cabin) JHC’s J3 team pondered whether the successful disembarkation of the crew might have been different if the aircraft had been full of troops. We had to find a way of guaranteeing a resource to teach the drills, at a time when helicopters were very hard to get hold of. A ground based Simulator/Trainer was the obvious answer. The Chinook model was chosen, based simply on the volume of passengers it moves on operations.
Once a contractor (Dytecna) had been selected and contract awarded, the pressure was on for them to deliver before the 20 Bde exercise. The result has been a ‘squaddie-proof’ replica of the inside of a Chinook cabin, which will enable very realistic Stage 1 Drills. There is even a gun mount on the ramp to replicate the trip hazard.
The Trainer is portable, and the concept is to take it to barrack locations for training. There is very little maintenance, and there is not much to break.
Robust training will give these troops hands-on confidence with the seating and lap-belt system. A neat by-product is slicker drills and a reduction in turn-around times during drop-offs/pick-ups in Afghanistan. Feedback from the troops under training has been overwhelmingly positive once they have got over the amusement of sitting in an ISO container.