A Field Study of Performance among Embarked Infantry Personnel Exposed to Waterborne Motion
Lee, Byron M.
Shattuck, Nita L.
Fricker, Ronald D., Jr.
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With the cancellation of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program by the Secretary of Defense in January 2011, the Marine Corps Combat Development and Integration Command started a revision of the core capabilities for future amphibious assault vehicles. With limited information on the aftereffects of waterborne motion on embarked infantry, the Habitability Assessment Test was conducted to investigate and characterize these effects on infantrymens combat effectiveness. The level of degradation due to exposure to waterborne motion on agility, coordination, and cognitive function was measured utilizing two types of amphibious assault vehicle. Sixty-one Marines were exposed to varying lengths of waterborne motion. They completed a test battery before and after waterborne motion exposure including an obstacle course, marksmanship assessment and cognitive performance test. Analysis reveals no degradation in either marksmanship or obstacle course performance. Cognitive performance, on the other hand, was degraded. Participants' performance on the cognitive test was 9.34 percent lower after exposure to three hours of waterborne motion. Additionally, cognitive performance for participants not reporting to be suffering from motion sickness had a greater deficit. After a one-hour resting period, the participants' performance on the cognitive test was still degraded for the participants exposed to three hours of waterborne motion.
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