Soldiers learn from combat vehicle experts
May 24, 2013
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- More than 70 Soldiers from the 900th Component Repair Company, headquartered in Brundidge, Ala., spent their annual training learning from the combat vehicle specialists at Anniston Army Depot.
The National Guardsmen, whose Military Occupation Specialty Code, or MOS, ranged from wheeled and tracked vehicle mechanics to trades specialists and armament repairers had not worked on military vehicles for the past several years - since before their 2010 deployment to Afghanistan.
Working on the lines at the depot gave these Soldiers much needed experience as well as exposing them to vehicle platforms they had never seen.
"Most of us tracked mechanics haven't worked on a tracked vehicle since AIT," said Spc. Matt Jacobs, speaking about the Advanced Individual Training Soldiers receive following Basic Training.
Jacobs and others have been in the 900th CRC for more than six years and relished the chance to do what they had been trained to do.
"The biggest benefit of this for me is putting hands back on the equipment. We are re-learning our job," said Sgt. Kendall Austin.
Austin and several other Soldiers spent the first week of training on the M1 Abrams assembly line in the Combat Vehicle Repair Facility. For him and one other Soldier assigned to the section, it had been nearly 12 years since they last repaired an M1.
The Soldiers were awed by the variety of vehicles and equipment overhauled and repaired by the depot. For some, it was their first exposure to an Assault Breacher Vehicle, which they had never seen in action. Others learned to repair or inspect the Stryker.
For most of the Soldiers, the two weeks of training were split between different work areas, giving them knowledge and experience on different vehicles or processes.
"You never know what you'll work on in the field," said Sgt. Thomas Rowland who worked in one of the depot's component repair shops. "This is one of the best camps as far as cross-training."
"We've been getting a little more familiarization with what we are supposed to be doing," said Sgt. James Smith who received welding training while on the installation.
Learning from the men and women who perform maintenance, repair and overhaul on combat vehicles as their everyday job not only exposed the 900th CRC to the best way to perform each process, but also to a workforce who loves what they do.
"The staff here is outstanding. They are really helpful," said Jacobs.
"It's always a good experience working with new people around new things," said Sgt. Jeffrey Frazer.