[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                              September 11, 2009
Training

Mobilized unit provides support
to NCO Academy training

Maintenance Soldiers from a Florida Army National Guard unit conducting mobilization training at Fort McCoy found time to use their military knowledge and skills to support other Soldiers training at the installation.
Photo: A Soldier from the 631st Maintenance Company works on repairing a vehicle at the NCO Academy Motor Pool. (Photo by Maj. Mari DePorres)
A Soldier from the 631st Maintenance Company works on repairing a vehicle at the NCO Academy Motor Pool.
(Photo by Maj. Mari DePorres)

The 631st Maintenance Company Soldiers provided extra manpower to help keep or bring vehicles up to Army standards at the NCO Academy. Observer-Controller-Trainers from the 181st Infantry Brigade, which coordinates mobilization training at Fort McCoy, arranged for the support.

The maintenance mission overseas is about training, preparation and safety, said Command Sgt. Major M. Kevin Dubois, the NCO Academy commandant.

Dubois honored the 631st maintenance Soldiers with certificates of appreciation and a command sergeant major coin during a recognition ceremony at the NCO Academy Motor Pool.

“It’s a win-win situation for both you and us,” Dubois said “You get training and an opportunity to turn wrenches. We benefit from your skills and well-maintained vehicles that will support training (for the Warrior Leader Course) in two days.”

Staff Sgt. Michael Bowen, the 631st supervisor, said the unit was appreciative of all the opportunities to get oriented on the equipment or get refresher training. The unit’s mission in-theater will be to go to different sites as part of a Maintenance Support Team to repair vehicles/equipment, Bowen said.

“Our Soldiers need to be trained up in this,” Bowen said. “They learn how to ID problems on vehicles and how to look up parts in technical manuals. We expect to be doing work like this in-theater.”

Sgt. 1st Class Mark Sirois, the NCO Academy Motor Pool sergeant, welcomed the assistance as he is the only academy Soldier assigned to the motor pool.

“It’s nice to have them available to look at the vehicles and do technical inspections,” Sirois said. “They also use the opportunity to cross-train Soldiers.”

Photo: Soldiers from the 631st Maintenance Company, a Florida Army National Guard unit, performs maintenance work on a vehicle at the Fort McCoy NCO Academy Motor Pool. (Photo by Rob Schuette) (An Extra to The Real McCoy Online)
Soldiers from the 631st Maintenance Company, a Florida Army National Guard unit, performs maintenance work on a vehicle at the Fort McCoy NCO Academy Motor Pool.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
(An Extra to The Real McCoy Online)

“We’ll use the vehicles to help train Soldiers in the Warrior Leader Class, who often have been deployed or will be deployed,” Sirois said. “They’re helping to prepare future Army leaders.”

In addition to the NCO Academy, the 631st Soldiers also supported the maintenance mission at the Equipment Concentration Site-67, the Installation Maintenance Materiel Activity and the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site organizations.

Sgt. Keith Hollowell, a mechanic/technician with the 631st, said he appreciated the opportunity to turn wrenches and to do maintenance work.

“I’m overwhelmed to come here and get the opportunity to do this work and train other Soldiers,” Hollowell said. “We work together here and have each other’s back, the same way we will do in-theater.”

Pfc. Julianna Maria Kaim, a mechanic who cross-leveled to the unit, said she loved doing the work.

“This is great training,” Kaim said. “It should be required on mobilization training. We need as much time as we can get doing this. This helps us to become more efficient, and there’s always more to learn about the job.”

 

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