Ready, Reset, Go! CECOM volunteers gain valuable greening experience at CEER-T mission
April 12, 2011
Fort Campbell, Ky., 3rd BCT, 101st Airborne Division --- Supporting the warfighter. We all want to do that. Some civilians get to work with Soldiers in theater but many of us never get that opportunity so we do our best to have an impact from our desk, laboratory or range.
Yet, there are other ways. I just returned from a mission for the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell where I got the chance to interface directly with Soldiers and gain an understanding of combat unit processes while participating in the 2-week induction phase of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team's equipment reset program.
Volunteers from the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command got the opportunity for this invaluable greening experience for two weeks as part of a critical component to support the war effort.
CECOMAca,!a,,cs Logistics Readiness Center deploys a Communications Electronics Evaluation Repair-Team, or CEER-T, to the home stations of returning brigade combat teams to reset their Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems, or SINCGARS, and night vision devices, NVDs, to necessary standards in accordance with the Special Technical Inspection And Repair manual. Basically, we make sure the equipment is ready to use the next time the unit deploys to the theater of operations.
Each team is composed of technicians from Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa., and government contractors from ITT Corporation; two CECOM site leads, and as many CECOM volunteers as is necessary to assist as logistical support.
Five CECOM volunteers from Aberdeen Proving Ground participated in the two-week induction phase in which I participated this spring. They included three assigned to SINCGARS and two to NVD. The SINCGARS team included, Jennifer Beddor, CERDEC, Carl Williams, CECOM G8, and Lindsay Newhouse, LRC. The NVD team included Melissa Danilchick, LRC, and myself.
Work began early on a Monday morning and it was a day for preparation Aca,!" arranging tables, inventorying parts, and following necessary instructions from the site leads to assure a smooth and successful first day of induction, taking in the used equipment from the brigadeAca,!a,,cs Soldiers so that they can be repaired or replaced. Our site lead, Kim Hampton from the LRCAca,!a,,cs Reset team, gave us our instructions on how to take in the equipment. My partner, Melissa, had fortunately worked a CEER-T mission once before so I was able to follow her lead. Our home for two weeks was located in a warehouse on the installation.
The first day of induction began by greeting the units as they arrived. First to arrive was the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop from the 1-33 Cavalry. They arrived on time with more than 100 night vision goggles to catalog and package for reset repair work to begin by the reset team of TYAD technicians.
The process for each day flowed like this: Members of a unit will arrived for their scheduled appointment where they were greeted by the CEER-T site leads and volunteer CECOM team. Next they received instructions for packaging their equipment. Ziplock bags are already arranged along tables where three copies of a Department of Army Maintenance Request Form 2407 are completed by the unit and placed on top of each ziplock bag. Then, Soldiers began placing each NVD on its corresponding form with close scrutiny by both Soldiers and volunteers that serial numbers match appropriately. After a thorough check, maintenance labels were affixed to each copy of the 2407 along with one attached to each ziplock bag.
Once this was completed, each piece of equipment was bagged with one copy of the 2407 form. These bagged NVDAca,!a,,cs were then loaded into boxes well labeled and ready for technicians to receive and begin their repair work. The unit left with a copy of each signed 2407 form as well as a signed acceptance letter and were told to wait for instructions via email as to when their equipment is ready for reissue. The repair work usually takes between one to three weeks depending on parts availability and volume of work.
I had some time to talk with a couple of the noncommissioned officers who are responsible for their CEER-T maintenance from the returning units. I asked Sgt. 1st Class William "Joe" McCullough, from the Third Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), 3rd Special Troops Battalion, what he thought of CECOMAca,!a,,cs CEER-T maintenance process and equipment as a whole. He responded, "CECOM does amazing work with their goods and services. I can honestly say there have been no issues or complaints with both the equipment and service that CECOM provides."
Sgt. 1st Class Laura Eisch of G Company, 3/320th Field Artillery, just returned home after one year and two weeks deployed in Afghanistan. She had a big smile on her face when we were introduced to her unit. I soon learned the smile was due to reuniting with her 3 yr. old son the day before whom she hadnAca,!a,,ct seen in over a year. I asked Eisch how she was able to say goodbye to him knowing she would not be able to see him for such an incredibly long period of time, she explained, Aca,!A"I really didnAca,!a,,ct think I would be able to do it, but I did. It was a very difficult decision, but am glad I went to serve our country and am now home, safe with my son."
As civilian employees of the Army, we can sometimes get wrapped up in our daily grind and become removed from the reality our Soldiers face day to day. It was a vivid reminder to me and the other volunteers just how much is sacrificed by these Soldiers to protect our freedoms and our way of life.
By participating in missions like these, other CECOM volunteers can experience and become more in tune and appreciate not only the work of our men and women in uniform but also what services we provide to get their mission done.
CECOM volunteers were able to catalog, box and prepare more than 3,000 NVDs and 2,000 SINCGARs for reset in just under eight days.
"The work is tremendously rewarding; to be able to support our Warfighters in such a way that directly affects their missions is what fills me with joy,Aca,!A? Hampton said. "IAca,!a,,cm always amazed at the support the Soldier gives to me and my team by making the effort to get the job done. Teamwork is not a problem when working CEER-T.
"I enjoy the face-to-face interaction with all the units and the very young Soldiers that cross our path. I canAca,!a,,ct be more pleased with CECOM and its volunteers for giving it their all during the brief time working with CEER-T. I canAca,!a,,ct think of anything IAca,!a,,cd rather do. Aca,!A"
The work is physical and demanding but very rewarding. These types of volunteer assignments add valuable greening experience to those from the civilian workforce who donAca,!a,,ct understand the full value of all they do every day to support the Warfighter. Volunteering for missions like these provides valuable face-to-face communication with Soldiers fresh from deployment. Here at CECOM, we are reminded that Aca,!A"at the end of the day, itAca,!a,,cs all about the Warfighter."
The volunteers for missions like this one get to experience this relationship and better appreciate the value of the work they do. The CEER-T mission is an experience that will strengthen your resolve and broaden your scope of the important work done at CECOM.