Vanguard mechanics help ANA repair vehicles, increase combat power
Spc. Zachary Tygart, a wheeled vehicle mechanic with Company B, 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, who hails from Kokomo, Ind., demonstrates to an Afghan National Army soldier from the 2nd Kandak, 4th Brigade, 203rd Corps, how to check fluid levels in an armored Humvee, Aug. 16, 2013, at Forward Operating Base Airborne, Afghanistan. The training was part of a week-long maintenance course designed to teach Afghan soldiers how to keep their vehicles working.

WARDAK PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Aug. 27, 2013) -- U.S. Army mechanics from Company B, 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, advised Afghan National Army soldiers from the 2nd Kandak, 4th Brigade, 203rd Corps, on better methods to maintain their vehicles.

The goal of the training was to help Afghan soldiers repair vehicles in order to increase the 2nd Kandak's overall combat power and give their fighting force an edge as they head into the fall.

Over a seven-day period, the Company B Soldiers worked side-by-side with Afghan National Army, or ANA, mechanics, training them how to properly conduct maintenance on a variety of armored Humvees.

Sgt. Evan Halladay, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to Company B, 703rd BSB, and a Bloomington, Minn., native, was the non-commissioned officer in charge for the training, and was one of the first mechanics to evaluate the Afghan's needs.

"When we first arrived we needed to assess all the vehicles and we began pushing fluids through the systems to determine what else they would need," said Halladay.

Once the group determined what was needed they were able to begin training the Afghan soldiers on how to fix the vehicles and the preventive measures they can take in the future. The repairs ranged from replacing tires and brake pads to rebuilding transmissions.

While working with the Afghan soldiers, the Company B mechanics also learned new techniques. Spc. Zachary Tygart, also a wheeled vehicle mechanic, with Company B, and a native of Kokomo, Ind., was impressed by the ANA mechanics' ability to dissemble parts.

"They showed us how to replace a fly wheel a bit quicker by approaching it from a different direction," Tygart said.

ANA Maj. Mohammad Saber, 2nd Kandak's executive officer, spoke very highly of the training his soldiers received.

"They were great Soldiers who always helped us fix, replace, and rebuild parts," Saber said.

Adding these newly repaired vehicles to their fleet will increase their overall combat power and give them additional capability as they fighting season winds down and the Afghans prepare for winter.

Together, the joint team of mechanics was able to return 20 vehicles to working condition.

"This training has had a positive impact on our mission and we appreciate their help," Saber said.

Page last updated Wed August 28th, 2013 at 07:16