Nov. 22, 2010

Virginia Guard maintainers get valuable training in Iowa 

By Staff Sgt. Andrew H. Owen
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

CAMP DODGE, Iowa — At the National Maintenance Training Center on Camp Dodge, Soldiers of the Blackstone-based 3647th Maintenance Company spent their two-week annual training Nov. 8-18 conducting maintenance operations working on nearly every piece of equipment available from the training center. The 111 Virginia National Guard maintainers spent their days receiving hands-on training in the unit’s 34 specific Military Occupational Specialties.

 

3647th Maintenance Company Soldiers emplace a barrel on to the body of a howitzer Nov. 13 while conducting annual training at the National Maintenance Center at Camp Dodge. The NMTC provides technical and tactical logistics training for sustainment units, through the use of subject matter experts training logistics warriors in a scalable full spectrum operations environment. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Click HERE to see more photos from the event on the Virginia National Guard Flickr site.

The 3647th Soldiers worked on equipment as small as individual circuit boards for the electricians to vehicles as large as the M1A2 Abrams Tanks. The Soldiers worked on tactical vehicles, front end loaders, generators, howitzers, and air-conditioning units, thanks to the equipment and tools provided by the NMTC. They welded, turned wrenches, and soldered through the training and increased their proficiency in every MOS in the unit except for one, according to 1st Sgt. Albert Talbert.

The NMTC staff provided the unit with multiple maintenance scenarios on many different platforms designed to test the Soldiers’ ability to perform within their MOS capabilities.

 

A Soldier from the 3647th Maintenance Company replaces the transmission on a Medium Tactical Vehicle Nov.13 at Camp Dodge, Iowa. The Soldiers conducted their two week annual training at the National Maintenance Training Center to focus on their maintenance specific skill sets. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew H. Owen, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Click HERE to see more photos from the event on the Virginia National Guard Flickr site.

“That’s really key to our operation here, and to training our Soldiers on things they haven’t previously experienced,” said 2nd Lt. Timothy H. Braxton, the maintenance control officer of the 3647th. “It’s going to help our Soldiers become better at their jobs, and not just the Soldiers at the lower level, but also our inspectors, [non commissioned officers], and the officers.”

Working at the NMTC also provided an avenue of training that would not normally be afforded to the 3647th while training at their home station at the Blackstone Armory. The Soldiers were provided access to equipment and tools that are otherwise outside their reach due to budgetary and space confinements limiting their training capabilities in Virginia.

“We don’t usually get to do any training on this equipment at home station because our unit doesn’t have it and we’re here and we get to actually work in our MOS,” said Sgt. Michael Campbell, a 3647th control maintenance team leader. “We need to be proficient in our jobs because this equipment and the engineers that operate it need it to work well because they need to do their job. They may be using this loader to fill barriers, and if they can’t fill the barriers then rounds can’t be stopped.”

The 3647th Commander, 1st Lt. Carlos Maldonado, commented on the NMTC’s capabilities, and how important it is to the proficiency of the Soldiers in his charge.

“When we’re back in the rear, not all the MOS get the chance to turn wrenches and get hands on experience,” said Maldonado.  “Here, every MOS from mechanics to welders get that experience and also gets the team building environment, which is important to us.”

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