CAMP KARLIKI, Poland - Soldiers from Echo Company, 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, perform crucial maintenance on a unit humvee, May 9, 2019 in Camp Karliki, Poland.
"Today we're finishing up an engine swap that we did on a humvee," said Spc. Mitchell Whiteside, a wheeled vehicle mechanic from Echo Company, 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Infantry Division. "We're reconnecting everything and getting setup so we can get ready to start it. Usually it's about a two day job, we disconnect the old one, use the crane to lift it out and then put the new one in."
Echo Company Soldiers have been working tirelessly to help keep the Diehard battalion running strong and without delay, since arriving in Poland.
We are the forward support company (FSC) for 1st Engineer Battalion, said Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Hougnon, section sergeant from E-Co. Our sole purpose is to maintain all vehicles for five different companies.
Echo Company is made up of 44 mechanics in multiple disciplines to include: wheeled vehicles, generators, air conditioners, bradleys, and light track vehicles. They all work together to maintain and service some 260 pieces of equipment within the battalion.
"Maintenance is big because everything we do involves vehicles," said Whiteside. "We just try and keep everyone on the road so they can keep doing what they do."
With the battalions busy training schedule, maintenance continues to be a top priority to keep the Diehard engineers moving forward.
"If the engineers can't go out and do what they do then we're stuck," concludes Whiteside. "The fight doesn't happen if the vehicles don't run."
The Devil Brigade is part of more than 6,000 U.S. regionally-allocated Soldiers in Germany, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, on a nine-month rotation, in support of Atlantic Resolve.