By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff
Soldiers participating in Operation Platinum Wrench (OPW) at Fort
McCoy are learning and/or improving their skills and helping the
Installation Materiel Maintenance Activity (IMMA), Equipment
Concentration Site (ECS)-67 and Regional Training Site
(RTS)-Maintenance staff meet equipment readiness objectives, as well.
The program is running from June through September.
Spc. Cody Halcom of the 223rd
Maintenance Company and Dean Yenter of the IMMA work on
refurbishing diesel injection pumps as part of Operation
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
is a U.S. Army Reserve Command-directed program designed to give
maintenance Soldiers hands-on experience repairing and maintaining
equipment and vehicles, said Master Sgt. Barry McGuire of the 646th
Regional Support Group of Madison, Wis. The 646th is providing
command-and-control of OPW at Fort McCoy. Similar OPW programs also
are occurring at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., Fort Dix, N.J., and
Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa..
Soldiers do all their combat and warrior training during their
training at home station," McGuire said. "Once a year they
get to do the hands-on training here (or at another site that offers
OPW). The units often rotate among the installations participating in
OPW so they get different perspectives."
Fort McCoy, the Soldiers rebuild and repair engines on vehicles and
equipment at IMMA. Vehicles the Soldiers work on include palletized
load systems, trucks and Humvees, McGuire said. The Soldiers also run
the cannibalization point at IMMA to salvage usable parts, such as
engines and transmissions from older vehicles/equipment, to complete
the repair of other equipment/vehicles.
maintenance Soldiers also worked on the wide array of vehicles and
equipment at ECS to support that mission, he said. The Soldiers
sharpened their skills about tracked vehicles by supporting the
RTS-Maintenance mission, as well.
Soldiers learn a lot from the experienced staff and work force at
those locations," McGuire said.
Thomas Schuerman, commander of the 223rd Maintenance Company, with
headquarters in Grand Prairie, Texas, and detachments in Texas and
Oklahoma, said the OPW program gives maintenance Soldiers in the unit
a complete experience with a repair, refurbish, salvage and
brought a few more Soldiers than required for the mission, and
installation personnel found work for them," Schuerman said.
"We got a lot of people trained in their military occupational
training also fit well into the unit’s Army Force Generation
schedule, as this is the year unit members would work on their MOS
skills, he said.
"The key to the mission is the personnel are working on
their individual skills. Each individual is getting training in
their own MOS."
Warrant Officer 2 Jason Arndt,
223rd Maintenance Company
Warrant Officer 3 Mark Simmons and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason
Arndt, both of the 223rd, said the detachments of the 223rd are spread
over a radius of several hundred miles in the two states so it is
important when they all can train together at one site.
key to the mission is the personnel are working on their individual
skills," Arndt said. "Each individual is getting training in
their own MOS."
Quincy Frierson, a maintenance supervisor with the 223rd Fort Sill,
Okla., detachment, said the OPW program offered a chance to do
maintenance work on a day-to-day basis.
IMMA staff was helpful and they knew their stuff," Frierson said.
"We’ll take what we learned back to the unit."
Elmer Floyd, a mechanic with the 223rd Bartlesville, Okla.,
detachment, said he appreciated working with the chassis dynamometer.
worked on engines back in the home unit but never this in-depth,"
Floyd said. "The dynamometer shows you the inner workings of
Fernando Meza, generator/mechanic with the 223rd Fort Sill detachment,
said he had seen the military version of the generators he was working
on so it was good to learn how to work on the civilian versions.
generators are pretty similar although they have different
characteristics," Meza said. "It was good to learn about the
civilian generators" because unit personnel might have to deal
with those, too.