opposed to operators. This course covers the same topics as the original Operator Training Course but with a focus on training unit trainers instead of actual operators (MRAP University, n.d.).
In addition to the training provided by MRAP University, the Infantry Center at Fort Benning, GA, published a “Smartbook” covering basic vehicle characteristics and employment for all MRAP variants (United States Army Infantry Center, 2008). Together, MRAP University and the Smartbook provide operators and maintainers the minimum information needed to successfully employ the vehicles. More importantly, they demonstrate that training and doctrine development programs can quickly adapt to major rapid acquisitions.
Some manufacturers have taken the basic training, described above, to a higher level by establishing their own facilities and offering training to Service members as well as FSRs from other manufacturers. Participation of FSRs who work for competitors does potentially expose proprietary data and technology to view by other manufacturers; however, as FPII Executive Vice President Damon Walsh stated, “this is support for the troops so we do it for their (other manufacturers’) guys, too.” FPII provides a training program and facilities and offers 40 to 50 hours of FSR training per week. Additionally, FPII requires that trainers have 90 days of job experience and training before they are slotted as trainers (2008, August 6).
Once FSRs have achieved their individual skill levels, they rotate with counterparts in theater and the returning FSRs share their knowledge with engineers and management stateside. This contributes to recommended changes in MRAP vehicles based on lessons learned from the returning FSRs. Unlike the other manufacturers, IMG does not provide its own FSRs, but instead subcontracts that requirement to DynCorp. Although this relieves IMG from the requirement to train and provide FSRs, it also may constrain a potential feedback loop when compared to other manufacturers. When IMG wants or needs information about its vehicles, it must request that through DynCorp (Major, 2008, August 22).