[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               November 28, 2008
Mobilization

IMMA ensures equipment ready for use

By Tom Michele, The Real McCoy Contributor

Truckloads of radio and electronic equipment, wheeled and tracked vehicles and a lot of small arms weapons go into the maintenance shop at Fort McCoy’s Installation Materiel Maintenance Activity (IMMA).

Photo: Derrick Elder uses a laser temperature gun to test the exhaust temperature on a Humvee at the Installation Materiel Maintenance Activity. (Photo by Tom Michele)
Derrick Elder uses a laser temperature gun to test the exhaust temperature on a Humvee at the Installation Materiel Maintenance Activity. (Photo by Tom Michele)

IMMA’s mission is what its name implies, "Maintenance." The work is performed under a contract with the Logistics Solution Group.

The 129 civilian-contract employees at the IMMA facility dive into, through, over and under all of this gear and bring life back to it and then send it back to the units it came from.

It might be a simple, yet complex, case of just "getting the sand out" of the equipment that just came back from the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan.

A lot of deployed equipment flowing through IMMA also made its journey through the McCoy facility before going overseas.

Some of the gear IMMA works on is destined to go with mobilizing units headed to support Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. And then IMMA gets it on the return trip to the United States and the units’ home stations.

Jeff Wessels, project manager at IMMA, said there are four primary maintenance operations at IMMA. "We support base operations customers, a huge variety of United States Army Reserve (USAR) projects and equipment, work with the Army’s National Maintenance Program and with the Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command and also RESET equipment proj-ects. And, finally, we are a power projection platform for mobilization and demobilization."


"We do the inspections and repairs to equipment prior to it going with the Soldiers on deployment, so the equipment functions well for the Soldiers ... "

Jeff Wessels,
IMMA Project Manager

"IMMA provides units going through pre-deployment training at McCoy with training set equipment to use so they don’t need to bring their own and while theirs is being shipped overseas," Wessels said. "The ‘training set’ has become a huge element of rolling stock for units to use here, and where our heavy, tactical and ground support automotive shops and inspection section comes into play. Mob Soldiers don’t come to our facility, but some of their equipment does. Our people repair it and get it back to the Soldiers to take overseas."

The mobilization effort at McCoy is obviously huge, but even that is still just 20 percent of IMMA’s workload, according to Wessels. The other 80 percent is for Base Operations, USAR Command support and the RESET work.

"Our work is extremely important to the Mob Soldier," Wessels said. "We do the inspections and repairs to equipment prior to it going with the Soldiers on deployment, so the equipment functions well for the Soldiers, and so they will accomplish their mission."

Wessels also said, "Our work is important to Fort McCoy because Fort McCoy is helping the mobilizing Soldier. Our motto here is ‘We give 110 percent to the Soldier.’"

Lee Amaral, heavy and tactical vehicle shop supervisor, said, "Our role is to keep vehicles operational for the mobilized Soldiers, like the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicles and Armored Security Vehicles (ASV) that first came here this year. Units arrive at Fort McCoy for mobilization and the vehicles are available for them. We also have the training sets for units to sign out for their mobilization training, annual training or extended combat training."

Photo: Nick Koenig uses a small wrench to tighten bolts on an engine crankcase breather of a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle truck. (Photo by Tom Michele) (A The Real McCoy Extra)
Nick Koenig uses a small wrench to tighten bolts on an engine crankcase breather of a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle truck. 
(Photo by Tom Michele) (A The Real McCoy Extra)

"Our heavy and tactical vehicle shop’s function is to maintain equipment readiness," Amaral said. "That is our focus. Part of that process is the validation of the equipment, just like the Soldiers and their units go through the validation process so they can go overseas."

Amaral said his shops work on everything in the Army inventory, from chain saws at the very lightest, to the Armored Vehicle Launch Bridge tracked vehicle as the largest.

In between are M1151A full up-armored Humvees, the Light Medium Tactical Vehicle two and one-half-ton and five-ton trucks that are among the newer trucks in the inventory, five-ton and Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) recovery vehicles, HEMTT cargo vehicles, Buffalo armored vehicles, MRAPS, ASVs, Bobcats, power generator trailers, even the McCoy installation refuse truck.

Also on the list are the combat support hospital trucks, tents and environmental control units to supply heating and air conditioning to the hospital milvans (International Organization for Standardization containers).

Marilyn Brooks, production control and supply supervisor, said, "Our section meets with the Soldiers when they arrive and informs them of the procedures to open work orders so their equipment can get repaired at IMMA. Then we track the parts needed to repair and maintain the vehicles, get the parts, then repair the equipment and return it to the Soldiers in the time frame needed by the Soldiers."

Brooks explained her section also tracks the equipment coming through IMMA because, if the equipment won’t be ready for the Soldiers in time to take overseas, IMMA will inform the Mobilization Unit In-processing Center (MUIC) to procure replacement equipment.

"A lot of it is about supply," Brooks said. "If we don’t have parts on our shelves, we will order them through our Army depot. If we can’t get a good ship date from depot, we can go to local community venders, if one is available, to get parts in a timely manner. And that has happened."

"This is all important because, if the Soldier is without a supply and production system, the work wouldn’t happen for the Soldier," Brooks said.

(Michele is a public affairs specialist for Eagle Systems and Services Inc., contractor for CONUS Support Base Services.)

 

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