Fort McCoy News March 27, 2015

Students tackle vehicle-recovery training

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Regional Training Site (RTS)-Maintenance 91B30 Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic Advanced Leadership Course (ALC) students tested their skills March 18 at the Vehicle Recovery Site (VRS) on Fort McCoy's South Post.

Photo 1
Regional Training Site-Maintenance 91B30 Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic Advanced Leadership Course students set up a winch-retrieval system during vehicle-recovery training on Fort McCoy's South Post.

The M984A4 Recovery Truck (Wrecker), equipped with a crane and winch-retrieval system and able to recover vehicles weighing in excess of 10 tons, was used in the training.

Gaining the expertise on how to recover tactical vehicles — large or small — in an austere environment is important for Soldiers in the Army's 91B wheeled-vehicle mechanic career field, said ALC Instructor Staff Sgt. Troy Carver.

"Anytime they go on deployments or in the field, they always need to have a wrecker with them in case anything breaks," Carver said.

At the VRS, Carver showed students aspects of a difficult vehicle recovery. Two tactical vehicles "got stuck" in heavy sand, and the students used the wreckers to pull out the vehicles in an uphill environment.

"We showed them how to do the recovery using the wrecker's heavy winch and how to figure out mechanical advantages," Carver said. "They have to work together to complete a very difficult task (in recovering the vehicle)."

Staff Sgt. Jarred Arnold, an ALC student from the 107th Maintenance Company of Sparta, Wis., said the vehicle-recovery training scenarios required teamwork.

Photo 2
Students prepare an M984A4 Recovery Truck (Wrecker) to complete a vehicle recovery.

"There's a lot of heavy lifting with hauling chains and cables," Arnold said. "But the most important aspect of this training is making sure everyone is safe. We have books and manuals on how to do the recovery, but making sure everybody is where they belong and they are making good decisions to stay out of danger is important."

Carver said the VRS is well-designed.

"This is a very good setup we have here," Carver said. "We have plenty of hills to get stuck on, sand to contend with, and a mire pit for mud recovery. We have everything we need at this site."

ALC students are Army noncommissioned officers who have advanced experience in their career fields. ALC Student Staff Sgt. Benjamin Gruver of the 960th Quartermaster Company of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, said knowledge gained from the training is shared with less-experienced Soldiers.

"It's good as a supervisor to know how the operations work," Gruver said. "You can always relay this to your Soldiers."

Photo3
Students pull the cable for a winch-retrieval system up a hill after connecting it to a pulley during the training at the Vehicle Recovery Site.

The RTS-Maintenance Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic ALC is conducted in two phases, Carver said. Vehicle recovery is a portion of one section of the phased training. The course also covers maintenance management, supervision of unit maintenance on tracked and wheeled vehicles, supply management, inspection techniques, unit defense, and more.

For more information about RTS-Maintenance courses, call 608-388-3938.