Tour de (special) force: How the Army and Chevy team up on the front lines Page 3


Driving under cover of darkness

The Range Complex is a place where people learn to shoot pistols, rifles, and even sniper rifles. TRC also offers more advanced training for close quarters battle within buildings. I visited the facility as Chevrolet's guest and got the chance to shoot a pistol and sniper rifle. For the record, I hit the target from 25 yards 12 or 13 out of 15 times on the pistol range, and hit the 100-, 200-, 300-, and 400-yard targets on the sniper range, then missed when hurried from 610 yards. Then again, being hurried is stress, and I failed under stress. Looks like I'm not Delta material.

While The Range Complex doesn't teach driving, I also drove like Delta does. At least, I tried to.

ALSO SEE: New Oshkosh JLTV Military Vehicle Replaces Well-Known Humvee: Video

For a mission or just to stay as invisible as possible, Delta Force will run a black vehicle at night using infrared technology so the driver can see, but the enemy can’t see the vehicle. This requires an infrared light bar with a red light signature that should be off as much as possible so the enemy can’t see it coming. It also means all interior lights need to be shut off or blacked out. The driver then uses NODs (night optical/observation vision devices or infrared goggles) to see. Driving with the lights off lessens the chance of getting hit by remote-controlled IEDs. Pressure-based IEDs can still be a problem.

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban Midnight Editions at The Range Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban Midnight Editions at The Range Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina

Enlarge Photo
2017 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban Midnight Editions at The Range Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban Midnight Editions at The Range Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina

Enlarge Photo
2017 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban Midnight Editions at The Range Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban Midnight Editions at The Range Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina

Enlarge Photo

I tried this type of night driving at The Range Complex with single- and double-lens NODs. The single-lens variety offers a very limited 25-degree horizontal field of vision, so it requires that you look around from side to side—checking your 3:00 and your 9:00—on a regular bases to keep the vehicle on the road and out of trouble.

The double-lens NOD has a 40-degree field of vision, which still requires a lot of looking around. The two lenses converge into one larger round green circle of view. I also got to try on $30,000 quad infrared goggles with four lenses that offer a 100-degree field of vision. That’s about half of what our eyes see. It’s quite good, but still requires that the driver keep his head on a swivel.

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban Midnight Editions at The Range Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban Midnight Editions at The Range Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina

Enlarge Photo

Driving this way proved to be feel more natural than I had anticipated, as long as I kept looking around to take in both sides of the off-road course I was running. It really sunk in how effective it could be when I stopped, took off the goggles, and saw complete darkness. It’s crazy to drive with no lights on and still see fairly well.

Other military driving tips:

  • The driver is the guy who is going to get the team out of trouble. He has to be able to drive different types of vehicles on different surfaces—sand, mud, pavement. He has to know where the out is in traffic at all times, even while the other guys in the vehicle may be returning fire.
  • Everyone in the vehicle has a sector and they are working together to help the driver, yelling things like “clear left, clear right.”
  • For a mission, scout the route. Find one way in and another way out. If you can, use vegetation or buildings a cover.
  • Use as much speed as possible without running the engine too loud to alert the enemy.
  • Pull up in a controlled manner to the target to keep everyone inside from being jostled around.
  • Put the vehicle between you, your guys, and the target to act as cover. That probably means using it to cover the door.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to driving for military purposes. Delta Force operators know more ways to protect our interests and assault strategic targets than any civilian can imagine. No matter where America goes in the world, Delta Force is there and they are probably using Chevrolets in their missions. Let's just hope that when their operators encounter danger, they can get off the X.

Chevrolet provided travel and lodging to Internet Brands Automotive to bring you this firsthand report.


 
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