AZ Guardsmen turn wrenches for Alaska Guard

AZ Guardsmen turn wrenches for Alaska Guard

Arizona Army National Guard Spc. Eriberto Paredes, a utility equipment repairer cross trains with Spc. Sabrina Carrico, a wheeled-vehicle mechanic, as Carrico works on removing the rear differential off a Humvee, June 20, in the combined support maintenance shop at Camp Denali on Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson, Alaska. The Guardsmen, who are with 3666th Support Maintenance Company, were with their unit conducting its 15-day annual training in Alaska, where they assisted the Alaska Guard with vehicle inspections and transportation of 18 vehicles and 14 trailers to Fort Wainwright, Alaska. (Arizona Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brian A. Barbour)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - An impact wrench sounded off as a wheeled vehicle mechanic broke loose a stubborn bolt on an M1097 Humvee at the combined support maintenance shop at Camp Denali on Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson, Alaska.

It was one of the many vehicles belonging to the Alaska Army National Guard that mechanics from the Arizona Army National Guard’s 3666th Support Maintenance Company in Phoenix worked on during their annual training June 18 through July 2, performing preventive maintenance checks and services, before driving the vehicles to Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

The annual training provided joint training between the Arizona and Alaska National Guards, said 2nd Lt. Jonathan Gonzales, support maintenance platoon leader for the 3666th SMC. The mission gave Guardsmen in the 3666th a chance to do work specific to their military occupation and be introduced to new equipment.

“We look at these missions as opportunities to become better at our profession,” Gonzales said.

The 3666th brought six wheeled vehicle mechanics to Alaska who worked on Humvees, trailers, light medium tactical vehicles and heavy expanded mobility tactical trucks.

Most of the vehicle servicing was routine maintenance; however, some vehicles needed a little extra attention.

The mechanics had an opportunity to work on a Humvee in the shop where they removed the front differential and half-shafts said Spc. Jessica Mendez, a wheeled-vehicle mechanic for the 3666th. They had to do a lot of trouble shooting to find the Humvee's problem which was narrowed down the to the transfer case.

The 15-day annual training gave mechanics like Mendez a chance for hands-on experience beyond what they do in Arizona.

“We don’t get to go that in-depth on the trucks during drill,” Mendez said. “We just do services and minor repairs if we need to.”

The Alaska National Guard invited Arizona to assist them with the vehicles, making sure the vehicles were fully mission capable by completing vehicle preventative maintenance checks and services before driving them to Fort Wainwright.

A bulk of the 3666th’s mechanics mission was conducting preventive maintenance checks on the vehicles before transporting them.

“PMCS is imperative to the preparation process because it impacts mission readiness,” Gonzales said. “Our mission is to ensure that requested equipment is fully mission capable to perform for the Soldiers during Operation Artic Anvil. Our Soldiers did an excellent job from the PMCS process to the final staging and inspections.”

During the annual training the 3666th had an opportunity cross training their Guardsmen as well as work with the Alaska Guard’s fulltime technicians in their shop.

Gonzales said the Alaska Guard’s fulltime technicians at the field maintenance shop and CSMS were excellent partners who worked with the 3666th to successfully complete their mission.

After the PMCS’s were completed the 3666th drove 18 vehicles and 14 trailers 352 miles from Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson to Fort Wainwright.

Overall the 3666th really helped us out, said Alaska Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 4 Robert Stilwell, the CSMS general foreman. With the help of the 3666th the Alaska guard is able to fulfill a request to supply vehicles to the Iowa National Guard in support of Operation Arctic Anvil.

The annual training gave Arizona Guardsmen a chance experience a different environment outside of their home state, to do work in their military operational specialty and cross-train into specialties as well as work with Guardsmen from a different state.

“As leaders, we have to provide training opportunities that increase a Soldier’s professional development,” Gonzales said. “This includes the opportunity to learn from their counterparts in other National Guard states.”