By Staff Sgt. Lerone SimmonsMarch 23, 2018
FORT CAMPBELL, KY -- Company commanders assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) participated in a maintenance terrain walk to gauge and build their knowledge base in maintenance and sustainment operations at Fort Campbell, March 19.
Brig. Gen. K. Todd Royar, 101st Abn. Div. deputy commanding general for support, along with Chief Warrant Officer 5 Danny Taylor, 101st Abn. Div. senior ordnance logistics warrant officer, facilitated the event, which served as a leadership development program.
Maintenance terrain walks are a common practice conducted Army-wide throughout the year, and a U.S. Army Forces Command program that enables the senior commander for support to have face-to-face interaction with commanders two to three echelons below a division.
"It's a leadership development program, not an inspection," explained Taylor. "It provides the opportunity for company and battalion commanders to articulate and explain their maintenance programs to the DGG-S, which ensures that they understand the program and the different systems in place for maintenance, as well as the standards."
Royar and Taylor visited the 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Abn. Div. Sustainment Brigade and the 21st Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Abn. Div. While addressing dozens of company commanders, Royar emphasized that maintenance can quickly become a Soldier safety issue, and that sharing ideas and experiences can mitigate potential risks down the road.
"We want to make sure that we have the ability to leverage division expertise to help battalions increase their readiness," he said. "It's a team effort, no one individual knows everything."
As the group made its way through the battalion's area of operation, Royar repeatedly quizzed and shared knowledge with the company commanders. They discussed topics like vehicles and equipment, personnel, safety and training, while visiting each battalion's arms room, logistics area, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear rooms.
Royar explained that the company commander's ability to execute effective maintenance programs would lead to increased mission readiness, cut down on waste, and develop shared, responsible financial ethics.
"Hopefully it teaches us, collectively, to utilize our resources as efficiently as possible so that we are maintaining our readiness and also, that we are doing right by the American taxpayer," he said.
At the end of each maintenance terrain walk, company commanders are afforded the opportunity to express their maintenance needs to the deputy commanding general as part of his initiative to share ideas across all echelons to fulfill maintenance tasks.
"The feedback has been positive," said Taylor. "Having the general available to engage and ask questions of the commanders, the commanders' ability to provide feedback directly back to him, and to provide assistance when needed from the division level has been beneficial to us all," said Taylor.
The 129th CSSB and the 21st Eng. Bn. were the 15th and 16th battalions, respectively, within the 101st Abn. Div. to conduct a maintenance terrain walk this fiscal year.