Fort Hood, TX -- Modernization comes in two containers packed with capabilities for the 602nd Support Maintenance Company, 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade, with the Metal Working and Machining Shop Set (MWMSS) earlier this month on Fort Hood.
The 602nd SMC is the only active-duty unit to adopt the shop set in the Army's operational force. The first of its kind, the MWMSS provides industry standard metalworking technology tailored for both machining and welding.
"Our goal is to save the Army time and money," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Keith W. Davis, an allied trade technician, 602nd SMC. "It allows us to make repairs to equipment or fabricate parts to make repairs to equipment faster and cheaper than through conventional means."
The MWMSS equips technicians like Davis and his Soldiers trained in military occupational specialty (MOS) 91E, allied trade specialist, with the capability to support any mission and expedite the return of equipment to operational readiness.
"A lot of items take several months for the part to come in, where as in many cases I can repair it right there on the spot in a matter of days," Davis said.
In the past, allied trade specialists were limited by a unit's modified table of organization and equipment that prescribed either welding or machining equipment, not both. In 2015, the shop set was fielded and today the MWMSS is ready to work across field and sustainment maintenance units to change the way the profession of allied trade specialists and technicians perform.
"It's a struggle," Davis said, "Because you get a lot of leadership who just don't understand how valuable and useful allied trades really is." He added, "Fortunately, this chain of command that I've had here has supported the process."
The support has made the 602nd SMC unique and in Davis' words, "Without a doubt the best shop on Fort Hood, and now it's safe to say in the Army."
The shop has not gone unnoticed. It was one of three units on Fort Hood selected to provide U.S. Army Tank-automotive & Armaments Command (TACOM) Commander, Maj. Gen. Daniel G. Mitchell and Command Sgt. Maj., Ian C. Griffin, a detailed look into TACOM and Global Combat Support System (GCCS -- Army) equipment.
"We're like a test bed," said, Davis. "The Army wants to see if it is a viable solution for prototyping for part fabrication."
TACOM develops and delivers readiness for ground and support systems globally, while GCCS -- Army provides the system to maintain, manage and train on equipment for the tactical Army. For Davis, the opportunity promotes the value of equipping the allied trades with state-of-the-art technology, like the MWMSS.
"It's a no brainer," said Davis. "Everything in the Army is made of metal -- why would you not have good metal repair facilities at your disposal?"