CAMP UR, Iraq - The Ur Logistics and Technical Advisory Team with the 36th Sustainment Brigade out of Temple, Texas, works with Iraqi Soldiers at the Ur Iraqi Army Regional Maintenance Center to improve their skills in maintenance and supply.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Michael J. Hoover, the officer in charge of the 36th Sust. Bde. LTAT, is an automotive maintenance supervisor with the Gatesville Mobilization and Training Equipment Site in Gatesville, Texas, and said he has been working in automotive maintenance for roughly 30 years.

Hoover, a Gatesville, Texas, native, said the mission is not as much about actual maintenance as it is about the logistics and planning of maintenance.

"Their mechanics are good mechanics, but as far as how they maneuver different parts and different equipment to different places is a large issue for them," he said.

One of the biggest problems the LTAT hopes to address in the maintenance center is the inefficiency of the parts ordering system, said Hoover. It can sometimes take more than a year to get the required parts to fix a vehicle, and while they wait, the vehicle just sits there unused and gathering dust, he said.

Another one of the LTAT's goals is to teach the IA Soldiers to cross-train on different jobs within the unit, said Hoover.

Iraqi Army Col. Muthana Sobyh AbdalGabar, commander of the Ur IA RMC, said through an interpreter he is appreciative of the efforts of the 36th.

"In these days, the meeting and the cooperation between us and the advisers over there with the U.S. Army is very helpful for us," said Muthana, a Basra, Iraq, native. "We gain a lot of things (that are) very useful ... They always support us."

Muthana said the previous LTAT that worked with the maintenance center helped them to reorganize their center to make it more efficient and effective, but the 36th Sust. Bde. is teaching the Iraqi Soldiers more about safety, vehicle maintenance and using more up to date systems involving computers.

Master Sgt. Bennie E. Grubb, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Ur LTAT, said he has been working with the Iraqi Soldiers at Camp Ur for roughly three months.

"The main thing about the (IA Soldiers) is they want to learn and they want to accomplish their job or mission, but they cannot do it because of lack of tools," he said.

Grubb, a Copperas Cove, Texas, native, said the IA Soldiers are good at adapting to their conditions, by fashioning makeshift tools to help them accomplish their mission.

"They may get a screwdriver that used to be a Phillips screwdriver, and they will flatten it off to make a flathead screwdriver," he said. "They make what they have to make."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16