Friday, August 27, 2010

War Pig Mechs-Hard Working Marines

DVIDS PostedMechanics maintain mission capabilities

COMBAT OUTPOST PAYNE, Afghanistan – To accomplish their mission, light armored reconnaissance Marines need vehicles prepared for the task at hand. The Motor Transport Maintenance section makes sure the vehicles are ready to travel Afghanistan’s rugged terrain.

The 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion maintenance section is comprised of a radio communications section, an armor section and an optics section.

“Having all the different sections here in one shop makes it a lot easier and faster to fix a problem that requires one of these specialties,” said Master Sgt. Tuputala Paulo, the battalion maintenance quality control chief with Headquarters and Service Company, 1st LAR Bn.

Repairs for these vehicles are broken into several categories.

“We needed Marines with fourth echelon capabilities to be able to fix the engines of the LAVs,” said Paulo, an Oceanside, Calif., native.

To work at full capacity, the 1st Marine Logistics Group sent mechanics with advanced training on light armored vehicles engineering to 1st LAR Bn.
A vehicle in repair is checked in to every section for tests and marked off on a checklist when it’s determined operational.

“We can fix everything that can break in a light armored vehicle,” said Sgt. Bryan Watkins, a light armored vehicle repairman with H&S Company, 1st LAR Bn. “We make sure the vehicles can undergo the missions.”

Some of those missions take the vehicles far away from the maintenance shop. These Marines don’t just sit back and wait for the downed LAVs to come to them. They use recovery teams to assist the LAV crewmen in the field, while one crew remains at the shop.

“The first team works kind of like NASCAR. They’re a pit crew on stand-by at all times, in case there’s a problem with a light armored vehicle,” Paulo added.

That is where the recovery comes in.

“Our job with the recovery team is to go out and try to fix the vehicles out there, but if we can’t fix it where it broke down, then we tow it back and fix it here,” said Watkins a Harford County, Md., native. “We also go out if one of our companies takes part in a big operation.”

The Mechanics attached to the maintenance shop work up to 20-hour days fixing and maintaining LAVs.

“If you ask anyone here they can tell you that the maintenance Marines are the hardest working Marines in the battalion,” Watkins said.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:35 AM

    Small world. I'm the guy in the blue coveralls photographed above, haha. Neat article to find. Only thing is, LAV mechs are distinctly different from Motor T. We actually fix our vehicles, not wait for warranty repairs.