[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                    January 25, 2008
Training

RTS-Maintenance teaches 
light-wheeled mechanic MOS

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

      Soldiers taking the light-wheeled mechanic military occupational specialty (MOS) course at Regional Training Site-Maintenance  (RTS-Maintenance) at Fort McCoy discovered that wintertime provides many good training opportunities.

Photo: Students in a Light-Wheeled Vehicle Maintenance Class train on torque-geared hub and spindle-bearing replacement. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Students in a Light-Wheeled Vehicle Maintenance Class train on torque-geared hub and spindle-bearing replacement. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

      Sgt. Maj. Melvin Tucker, RTS-Maintenance chief operations NCO, said the organization offers sustainment and maintenance-related courses year-round, including the 63B MOS for light-wheeled mechanics, to help units best plan their training schedules. The availability of courses  also helps ensure the Army has trained units and Soldiers prepared to support any mission they might receive, including deployments.

      Students taking the course may be reclassifying or trying to become MOS qualified, he said.

      Many of the students come from combat arms, combat support and combat-service support backgrounds. They all need the skills to work for combat-service support units.

      "(Offering the training at this time of the year) helps balance our training load throughout the year as much as possible," Tucker said. "Soldiers learn the necessary skills, whether they will be deploying down the line or are returning from the theater."

      Sgt. 1st Class Michael Mueller of B Company, 257th Brigade Support Battalion of the 57th Field Artillery Brigade of Kenosha, Wis., said he attended the training because he was being reclassified from an artillery (13B) MOS to a light-wheeled mechanic MOS.


"(Offering the training at this time of the year) helps balance our training load throughout the year as much as possible."

Sgt. Maj. Melvin Tucker,
RTS-Maintenance Chief Operations NCO

      "After my unit redeployed, we were transformed into a maintenance unit," Mueller said. "I am being trained to fill a maintenance unit supervisory slot."

       Mueller said he didn't have any wrench-turning experience except for what he did with a howitzer. The leadership of the Army National Guard unit told him when he returned to attend a November basic combat  training session that he was being reclassified into a maintenance supervisory position.

      "I'm learning how to take wheels off (and repair whatever needs to be repaired)," he said "We're learning about engines, how to take them apart and the mechanics of how they work."

      Sgt. Dennis Jackson of E Company of the 1st, 106th Aviation Regiment of the Illinois Army National Guard said he had recently retired from the railroad when he decided to return to the military as a military/civilian technician in the maintenance field.

      "This is reclassification/, refamiliarization training for me," Jackson said. "A lot of the vehicles have changed since I left military service 23 years ago. Then we had deuce-and-a-halfs and Willys Jeeps. Maintenance work was performed using manuals."

Photo: RTS-Maintenance students use a Maintenance Support Device to look up water-belt replacement procedures. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
RTS-Maintenance students use a Maintenance Support Device to look up water-belt replacement procedures.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)

      Everything has changed since then. Vehicles in today's Army are different sizes than they were back then and handle differently during driving.

      Humvees have a variety of accessories, for example, that  allow them to be configured to support almost any use or mission, he said. The manuals have been replaced by computers, which have greatly  improved the procedures for performing maintenance, he said.

      "Before you seemed to have books everywhere trying to find the right information," Jackson said. "Now, they teach you how to open a computer and find what you're looking for. They show you two or three search engines so you can go right to the information you need."

      Anyone who would like more information about RTS-Maintenance courses can check the Army Training Requirements and Resources System (ATRRS) Web site or call the organization at (608) 388-3938.

 

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