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Tactical Maintenance Team Keeps Security Forces Rolling
Multi-National Force - Iraq ^
| Staff Sgt. John Gordinier, USAF
Posted on 04/30/2009 6:30:54 PM PDT by SandRat
Staff Sgt. Joshua Wheeler, 332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron tactical mobile maintenance team vehicle-maintenance craftsman, fabricates a metal mud flap bracket for a vehicle on April 22. Photo by Staff Sgt. John Gordinier.
JOINT BASE BALAD — Security Forces Airmen in the 532nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron here constantly go outside the wire to perform missions, and they rely on protection from Mine Resistant Ambush Protection vehicles to get them through the mission and back to base safely.
"Every morning and afternoon as ground combat patrols get ready to leave here, 332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron tactical mobile maintenance team members stand ready like crew chiefs on F-16s ready to roll in and fix whatever will stop the patrols from executing their missions," said Col. John Decknick, 332nd Expeditionary Security Forces Group commander.
"We received MRAPs that were brand-new, but because of some configuration issues, and some parts that had not been operations-tested in combat, we had multiple mechanical and electrical problems," the colonel continued. "Enter ELRS! They devised home-made and innovative [fabrications] for our problems."
"Every problem that comes up, we get on it immediately and start figuring out whether we need to get parts ordered or if we need to find an alternate way to fix it," said Staff Sgt. Mike Ferguson, 332nd ELRS tactical mobile maintenance technician.
Since parts for MRAP vehicles can take several months to arrive here, the TMMT fabricates parts to get the vehicle restored and back to the Security Forces Airmen in a timely manner.
"We have designed better alternatives and have fixed the vehicles," said Sergeant Ferguson. "Now, we are having the parts made in bulk so we can fix and retrofit all of the trucks before damage occurs."
Overall, all the modifications the team has made to the vehicles have been "problem-solvers," Neilsen said, and, upon clearing the discrepancy, have not had the repaired vehicles come back into the shop for duplicate repairs.
Part of an initiative to expedite maintenance for tactical vehicles, the 332nd ELRS is the first squadron in the AOR (U.S. Central Command area of responsibility) to start up a TMMT.
"We started a mobile team that would go to the vehicle's location, quickly correct the problem, and keep the mission going," said Lt. Col. David Sanford, 332nd ELRS commander. "In its two months, the TMMT has significantly enhanced our ability to serve front-line customers like the ESFG."
"As security forces, we cannot accomplish our mission without vehicles and communications," Decknick said. "MRAPs are better protection off-base, and we need them in this environment."
TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: frwn; iraq; maintenance; tactical
posted on 04/30/2009 6:30:55 PM PDT
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posted on 04/30/2009 6:32:39 PM PDT
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