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September 14, 2012

News

Reserve Soldiers help ECS-67 meet maintenance, service needs

Story & photo by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Reserve Soldiers conducting a summer support mission at Fort McCoy honed and improved their maintenance skills while providing valuable support to Equipment Concentration Site (ECS)-67 personnel.

Chris Frick, the ECS-67 general foreman, said the Soldiers served in a support role for the organization from May through Sept. 6.
PHOTO: Soldiers and an Equipment Concentration Site-67 employee work on equipment at the facility. Photo by Rob Schuette
Spc. Jason Abbey of the 316th Psychological Company of Grissom Air Force Base, Peru, Ind., Sgt. Mahdi El of the 982nd Combat Camera Unit of East Point, Ga., and Michael Sleeth of Equipment Concentration Site-67 work on equipment at the facility. The Army Reserve Soldiers were at Fort McCoy from May to September to work on equipment to help ensure Equipment Concentration Site-67 missions, such as supporting exercises, were accomplished in a timely manner.

The organization had many requirements to meet during that time, including providing equipment and maintenance support to the Red Dragon, Essayons and Warrior Exercises, among others.

“The goal was for the Reserve maintenance Soldiers to help us fill the gaps created by our personnel attending annual training, the additional exercise missions we have and to support our mission wherever necessary,” Frick said. “They have helped us keep up with our work load and supporting training at Fort McCoy.”

Frick said this was the lengthiest support mission for Reserve Soldiers at ECS-67, and about 10 Soldiers participated in the program. The program will continue next year, if units can send personnel to support the mission, he said.

Staff Sgt. Cheri Gorney of the 919th Inland Cargo Transfer Company of Saginaw, Mich., served as acting first sergeant (noncommissioned officer in charge) for the Reserve Soldiers, being responsible for motor transport operators, cargo specialists, container handlers, supply specialists and maintenance Soldiers.

Gorney said she learned a lot by being placed in such a high-level role.

“It helped me develop my leadership skills,” Gorney said. “Many of these Soldiers only see Humvees or palletized loading systems in their units so it gives them hands-on training on equipment they would never get to do otherwise.”

Sgt. Mahdi El, a wheeled-vehicle mechanic with the 982nd Combat Camera Unit of East Point, Ga., said he appreciated seeing the newer vehicles after leaving the military in 1989 and rejoining the Army in 2009.

“A lot of this is brand new to me, and it’s a good refresher,” El said. “I also can take this back to the unit and share the information with them.”

The ECS-67 personnel also were excellent to learn from as they have many years of experience and have practical information beyond the training classes or textbooks to which the reservists have accessibility, he said.

Spc. Jason Abbey, a wheeled-vehicle mechanic for the 316th Psychological Company of Grissom Air Force Base, Ind., said he appreciated the hands-on training opportunity on the equipment and learning from the ECS-67 personnel.

“You get to learn from people who see the equipment all the time as part of their daily jobs,” Abbey said.

“I also get active-duty time in between semesters of school.”

Michael Sleeth, an ECS-67 military-technician, said it was nice to have the reservists supporting the organization’s work.
“They volunteered and are happy to be here,” Sleeth said. “They wanted to work and learn. We can learn from them and their experiences, as well.”

Cpl. Brian Pulsipher, an automated logistics specialist for the 209th Quartermaster Company of Lafayette, Ind., said he learned that developing teamwork to take care of the supply needs for the ECS-67 mission helps make everyone successful.

Cpl. Candace Korreckt, also an automated logistics specialist for the 209th, said she appreciated the duty because it was something she could do for the military.

“I learned a lot during my time here, more than I thought I could learn,” Korreckt said. “It will be good to take it back to the unit and share it with other people there.”

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