December 20, 2012

Keeping vehicles in the fight during gunnery skills testing

Soldiers with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, kept vehicles operable during gunnery skills testing at the ranges, here, Dec. 12. Mechanics recovered vehicles and fixed them if a mechanical failure occurred at the range.

Troopers from Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, kept vehicles in the fight during gunnery skills testing at the range, here, Dec. 12. Mechanics recovered vehicles and fixed them if a mechanical failure occurred at the range.

Maintenance at the Regiment is conducted on a weekly basis. Additionally, HHT responds in the training area whenever a vehicle becomes inoperable. By fixing vehicles on the spot they lessen the amount of time that would have been taken away from training.

“It is important to know that we go where they go,” said, Sgt. Jose Lambarcaa, Tank Mechanic with HHT, 2/11th ACR. “We spend long hours going out to try and get the vehicle fixed on location.”

Troopers have to not only ensure familiarization with the BMP-2 that is typically seen in their job during rotations as opposition tanks, but also they have to maintain a fleet of M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks. The BMP-2 is modeled after a Russian tank and similar designs that are employed by many countries.

“Our Team does an excellent job keeping up with the familiarization of the M1A1 and the BMP,” said Staff Sgt. Maudie Lawton, a Tank Mechanic with HHT, 2/11th ACR. “It really is a challenge due to the turbine engines on the M1A1 – it being a completely different engine then the BMP. I have taken lessons learned from being on other maintenance teams working with the M1A1 and shared them with our team.”

The mechanics here are faced with challenges that might not be faced elsewhere. From the hard desert terrain to the multiple vehicle systems, Troopers face and deal with issues head on in order to accomplish their mission. By doing so they allow the rest of the Regiment to accomplish their mission seamlessly without having to worry about vehicles being repaired.

“It’s a good feeling to be part of a team, and knowing that we are a vital part of that team,” said Lambarcaa.

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