|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.
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
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
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
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
“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
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.”