1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
E/FSC Keeps Battalion Ready
OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq Sgt. Justin Fenn (left), from
Coos Bay, Ore.,
and Sgt. James Carey, from Milwaukee, Wis., both M1 Abrams Tank maintainers assigned to Forward Support Company E,
1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division Baghdad,
work to secure the engine block of an M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, July 25, upon completing services
at Combat Outpost Battle, located in the Jihad community of the Rashid district in southern Baghdad.
While the majority of the mechanics at COP Battle are specialized in servicing tanks, they take pride in being mechanics
first and foremost, said Sgt. 1st Class Barry Tumey, Combat Repair Team noncommissioned officer-in-charge,
who hails from Fort Hood, Texas, and is assigned to FSC E, 1st Bn., 22nd Inf. Regt., 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B.
(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Brent Williams, 1st BCT PAO, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B)
Repair team keeps battalion mission-capable, combat-ready
Staff Sgt. Brent Williams
1st BCT PAO, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B
July 29, 2008
OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq The loud, whining noise
emanating from under the hood of the M1155 up-armored humvee,
sends a grimace across the face of the driver and his crew. The temperature outside the vehicle has reached nearly 115 degrees,
and the once pliable steering wheel to the four-wheeled beast barely budges under the straining torque of the infantryman at the helm.
Out on mission, out in sector, is the last place that any Soldier
wants his vehicle to break down, and no where is it more evident
as the Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division,
Multi-National Division Baghdad, rush to attach the tow bar from the dead-lined truck to a more capable vehicle;
their next stop: the Combat Repair Team, located at Combat Outpost Battle in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad.
The crews break
the stuff, we fix it, said Sgt. 1st Class Barry Tumey,
of the Forward Support Company E Combat Repair Team, assigned to the 1st Bn., 22nd Inf. Regt., 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B.
It really doesnt
matter that the majority of the CRT are M1 Abrams Tank
maintainers, said Tumey,
a self-proclaimed Army Brat, who currently hails from Fort Hood, Texas.
The mechanics of the
CRT have learned and continue to learn from hands-on experience,
and take a great deal of pride in being able to do it on their own, said Tumey.
werent here, the crews wouldnt be able to make their
mission; they wouldnt be able to go out in sector
and do what they do, he said. On the same note, we wouldnt be able to do our job without them.
Ingenuity plays a big role in what these mechanics accomplish as they service up to 12 vehicles per week, explained Tumey.
The 13-year veteran also acknowledged that sometimes a vehicle will go down for a week at a time waiting for a variety of the right parts to arrive.
We do some pretty
amazing stuff out here to get these vehicles up and
running, Tumey explained.
Ive got a pretty good group of guys, who dont take the challenge lightly. Weve been known to take scrap electrical wire to rewire humvees,
fixed tires with glue, and all kinds of things to get the vehicles up and running.
As long as we can read the technical
manual, we can figure out the other vehicles, said Sgt.
an M1 Abrams Tank maintainer from Napier Valley, Calif., assigned to FSC E, 1st Bn., 22nd Inf. Regt., 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B.
The combat repair
teams mission is vital, because outside of routine
Preventive Maintenance, Checks and Services.
Soldiers conducting daily patrols and security operations from the various combat outposts in Baghdad,
dont have the time to work on their vehicles, said Camarillo.
serviced humvees, M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, a M88
Hercules Recovery vehicle,
a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected Vehicle, Palletized Load System vehicles and fuelers, he said.
As long as we can fix a tank and all of its technical systems, we can fix the other simple stuff.
It is job security for
the mechanics, who can take the experience gained while deployed
to Baghdad for a 15-month tour
in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and apply it to their skills as a mechanic, said Camarillo.
Vehicle recovery missions is another mission-essential task the Soldiers of the CRT accomplish, said Camarillo.
Vehicle recovery teams
ensure that vehicles that break down in sector are recovered and
brought back to a forward operating base
or combat outpost for repair, he explained.
An average day for the
members of the FSC E CRT consists of morning physical training,
followed by motor pool clean-up
and work shifts running morning, noon and night, said Spc. Geoffrey Shaneyfelt, an M1 Abrams Tank maintainer,
assigned to FSC E, 1st Bn., 22nd Inf. Regt., 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B.
The 120-degree summer heat is the hardest part of the job, said Shaneyfelt, who calls Anderson, Ind. home.
So, the team of mechanics will work around the hottest hours and take breaks every couple hours to hydrate and cool off, he said.
I find it a fun
job, Shaneyfelt said. It gives me something to do out
here. Sitting around would make me insane,
besides we couldnt go on missions if our equipment is broke.
Shaneyfelt, who is
currently deployed as a Stop-Loss, with his date to
exit the service extended
until he completes his 15-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, plans to take his knowledge and skills with him
into the civilian sector, where he plans to become an ACE certified mechanic.
Every Soldier plays a key part in maintaining
the vehicles, but it is the mechanics who ensure that the
deadlines are fixed
when simple maintenance wont do the trick, said Staff Sgt. Charles Mills, personal security detachment noncommissioned officer-in-charge
for the 1st Bn., 22nd Inf. Regt., 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B
These vehicles are our lifeline, said Mills, who hails from Killeen, Texas. If they get messed up, were out there flapping.
Even though the
Soldiers maintain and service their vehicles regularly, fuel
pumps, power steering pumps and ball joints always take a beating
when the patrols go muhallah diving, he explained.
The Combat Repair Teams
will always be mission essential in keeping the vehicles and
equipment combat ready
due to the daily wear and tear created by the rugged urban environment of Baghdad, said Mills.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE
(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE
(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt.
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