CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - Bravo company, 181st Brigade Support Battalion, maintenance section Soldiers work hard to maintain their company vehicles. With more than 40 mission capable vehicles, they work with operators to perform annual services and everyday maintenance, while working long hours to ensure their equipment is mission capable.

The Seattle, Wash., based Co. B transformed from an infantry support company to supporting logistics operations by providing convoy support missions in Iraq. With constant missions and overdue services, the mechanics of Co. B has managed to substantially raise the level of vehicle readiness.

"Bravo company equipment averages a 90 percent readiness rating," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Joey Litton, one of the unit's maintenance officers. He said the maintenance section can't take all of the credit for making Bravo company a success. Most of the Soldiers in the company have a strong maintenance background and assist whenever possible.

"One of our biggest strengths is that we have many mechanics in our company. We do a really great job of maintaining our equipment," said Sgt. Levi Bailey, a battle noncommissioned officer for Headquarters platoon.

"Being in the National Guard has really been an asset," said Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Bixler, the motor pool sergeant for the Co. B maintenance section. "Our Soldiers come from different MOS's (military occupation specialist) and civilian jobs that cross-over and give them a lot of extra knowledge and expertise. It has been crucial to making our section's mission successful."

Maintaining daily maintenance is a tough task, especially for Co. B's four mission capable convoy escort teams.

"We're keeping busy. We work 12-hour shifts," said Bixler. "CETS are always rolling out. When one CET rolls in from mission we try to correct all the faults on their 5988-E's [a Department of the Army maintenance and inspection worksheet] just as another CET rolls out on mission."

"Performing proper annual services on all of our equipment has been one of our primary goals," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Michael Davisson, a maintenance officer and a platoon leader for Co. B.

Bravo Company's mission is far from complete.

With many months of missions to come, the mechanics are committed to quality maintenance. They are constantly improving their techniques and keeping every vehicle as road worthy as possible, said Repass.

"Our goal, as mechanics, is to keep our Soldiers safe when they roll out on mission," said Repass. "When we relinquish our vehicles to the unit that will be replacing us, we will know that the equipment is in the best possible condition," he said. "We want the Soldiers of our company to be proud of the work we have done."

Photos and story by Spc. Chelsea Mack, UPAR, Co. B, 181st BSB, 81st HBCT, 287th Sust. Bde. public affairs.
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