Health & Safety

July 26, 2012

Blackhorse troopers keep vehicles running smoothly

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Story and Photos by Sgt. Anthony J. Lecours

Pfc. Jay Craybill, (left) and Spc. Jaime Mendoza, both Troopers with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment install a new radiator on a HMMWV, Fort Irwin Calif., July 23. The previous radiator was discovered to be damaged during a weekly preventive maintenance checks and services.

A truck carrying military cargo drives down the road without a problem. A mission conducted in Opposition Surrogate Vehicles is conducted flawlessly. Preventive Maintenance Checks and services are being conducted by 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, to ensure vehicles are fully mission capable at all times.

PMCS is a way for the Army to get the most use out of its vehicles and to ensure the safety of vehicle operators. The PMCS process includes a full vehicle inspection by the operator and a quality assurance and quality control by an Army mechanic.

“It really is the most important part of mission preparation,” said Spc. Joshua Martinez, a mechanic and trooper with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th ACR. “By checking your fluid levels often, you are able to stop problems before the motor gets wrecked.”

In addition to a weekly PMCS conducted over each vehicle, a more thorough quarterly check and an even more thorough yearly check is conducted. All drivers are required to undergo training over what to look for when inspecting their vehicle by certified mechanics.

“Mechanics save lives,” said Spc. Richard Green, a mechanic with HHT. “By ensuring the vehicle is up to a safe standard, we lessen the chance of an accident.”

All drivers are also required to take an accident avoidance and winter driving course before they receive their military license.

“The mechanics help keep the unit ready for anything, by giving us the tools and knowledge we need to safely complete missions.” said Pvt. Justin Bausack, a driver with B Troop. “Something as small as a leak on a vehicle could cause a mission to fail, you really need to take PMCS seriously.”

Command maintenance is conducted weekly to ensure mission capability and maintenance. It has been affectionately named Motor Pool Monday.

Spc. Michael Schmiut, a Trooper with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, checks for leaks during a quality control check after preventive maintenance check and services, Fort Irwin Calif., July 23. PMCS is a way for the Army to get the most use out of its vehicles and to ensure the safety of vehicle operators.




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