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RODET -- THE SPIN CYCLE THAT SAVES LIVES

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Published on May 14, 2011

It's been compared to being inside a tumble dryer or a tombola drum, but going for a spin in the RODET teaches skills that are already saving lives.

If one of the British Army's latest generation of armoured vehicles is struck by an improvised explosive device, or rolls over on difficult terrain, the soldiers inside need to know how to protect themselves and safely exit the vehicle. RODET, which stands for Roll Over Drills Egress Trainer, is an armoured hull, kitted out just like a real vehicle, which can be completely rotated to simulate a vehicle rolling and coming to rest upside down or on its side.

Two RODET units are in use at Camp Bastion, and every soldier likely to go 'outside the wire' experiences the delights of going for a spin. According to Captain Dougie Douglas, the officer responsible for reception, staging and onward integration (RSOI) training at the huge base, the RODET is dramatically improving British soldiers' chances of surviving a vehicle incident without suffering serious injury: "It's the basic stuff -- wearing seat belts, stowing equipment securely and keeping the vehicle clean inside. Some people are just about double their normal weight with their body armour and combat equipment on. If the person opposite you gets thrown on top of you, or you get thrown out of your seat against the roof of the vehicle you could be severely injured. Seat belts save lives, even in a combat zone."

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