Aviation maintenance: More than kicking tires and changing oil
August 22, 2014
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - Aviation assets are critical to tactical, security and logistical military operations throughout the world. Due to the operations tempo and deployment of Army aviation assets, aviation logistics and maintenance support is essential.
A Maryland Army National Guard unit, the 1100th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group, assumes the mission of the Missouri National Guard unit 1107th TASMG, 143rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), 1st Sustainment Command (Theater), during a transfer of authority ceremony here yesterday.
As the 110th takes over for the 1107th, they assume the posture to support combat aviation brigades throughout the theater by providing continuous aviation maintenance for all Army helicopters.
"Although we bid farewell to a great command team and a superb Army unit - the Army always gets it right and replaces them with another outstanding organization," said Brig. Gen. Daniel Mitchell, 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) deputy commanding general. "The 1107th's efforts supporting operations throughout the CENTCOM area of responsibility are second to none."
The mission of theater aviation support is essential to keeping aircraft flying, allowing aviation units to provide air support for the warfighter on the ground. While fulfilling this mission in Afghanistan, they were ordered to transition to Kuwait.
"Originally we were going to occupy three locations in Afghanistan," said Col. David Dippold, 1107th TASMG commander. "We were ordered to move to Kuwait, as a part of the theater reduction initiative, early this year because we could do our mission from here."
Despite the challenge of moving operations from one country to another, they eagerly completed the mission throughout their deployment.
"The Soldiers of our unit would always work faster than I expected, and I would have to revise my estimates with an earlier completion date," said Dippold. "From aircraft engine work to aircraft structural repair, retrograde and staff actions, the outstanding Soldiers of the 1107th have completed all these tasks, and more - not just on time, but early."
"They completed over 12,000 man hours of depot maintenance on 25 rotary wing aircraft that were returned to the fight and nine UH-60 [Black Hawk helicopters] were repaired and returned to fully mission capable before the estimated completion dates," said Mitchell. "They saved the taxpayers over $38.6 million dollars - Very nicely done."