ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- The U.S. Army Materiel Command's Small Arms Readiness Teams, or SARET, hit a major milestone in early July - they have now inspected and repaired one million items since 2004.

"That is approximately 800,000 weapons and 200,000 optics, lasers, sensors, mortars, and helmets totaling one million items," said Bruce Stout, weapons director from the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command.

SARET is composed of eight-person teams that inspect and repair weapons, optics, lasers, mortars, and helmets for warfighters.

They are the teams that make the difference between a warfighter's equipment working and the detrimental chance that it may not.

Wayne Cook, SARET team leader, reflected on the account of a brigade commander saying, SARET is the difference between "a click and a bang."

"Basically, it's life or death if that weapon fires when the Soldier faces the enemy," Cook said. "Our history shows that 85 percent of the weapons these Soldiers carry need repairs. We reset that weapon from combat to 100 percent, fully mission capable."

The SARET either resets equipment, which is the function of inspecting and repairing weapons after an Army, National Guard, Reserve or Special Operations unit returns from a deployment, or presets equipment, the function of inspecting or repairing weapons before a deployment, explained Stout.

TACOM personnel identify returning units and establish a date for a SARET team to come to the unit's home station for a two-to three-week period to inspect and repair the unit's equipment.

"We bring the repair parts with us and anything that needs to be repaired gets repaired at that time. The weapon is then handed to the Soldier and the Solider is then prepared to deploy with a fully functional and reliable weapon," Stout said.

The SARET inspects and repairs approximately 5,000 to 6,000 weapons, 6,000 to 8,000 optics, lasers and sensors, and roughly 100 motor items for a unit the size of a brigade combat team.

"There is no other capability in the Army today that can do that number of weapons, optics motors, lasers and sensors within two to three weeks time," Stout said.

Items that SARET personnel inspect and repair contributes to the success of the Army Force Generation - ARFORGEN -- cycle, allowing that unit to go back into the training phase to prepare for the next deployment, continued Stout.

In addition to making the one millionth milestone, the SARET will hit another record at the end of August with the completion of nine missions and inspection and repair of 37,000 weapons in one month and 99.2 percent of those weapons will be full mission capable, said Cook.

Just like many other organizations, the reason for SARET's success is teamwork and dedication.

"The SARET team has got the greatest bunch of people I have ever worked with in terms of dedication to Soldiers," Stout said. And what's driving these team members is the informal saying of anytime, anywhere and anyhow.

"We don't turn down any mission. I don't care where it is or when they need it. We'll get there and we'll fix those weapons because the difference between SARET's success and failure is a click versus a bang," Stout declared.



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