The 3rd Cavalry Regimental Support Squadron is in full swing ramping up for deployment to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California and the recent training cycle has pushed Soldiers to develop skills beyond their limits.

The Muleskinner's Blacksmith (B) Troop is responsible for the regiment's service and recovery in order to make sure that vehicles are repaired and ready for the fight. They have been arduously working to prepare for the battle against the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, NTC's Opposing Force.

"Coming back from our last deployment, the pace has picked up and has not stopped. Executing at this speed has allowed us to understand where Soldiers need help developing their skills," said Sgt. Luis Rosario, Senior Mechanic. "Our maintenance readiness has improved overall, making our routines faster and making complex tasks second nature."

After completing their fourth Field Training Exercise of the year, Blacksmith has continued maintenance operations through its rear detachment and in the field.

"The last five months of field training has helped push our troop, platoons, and sections to understand our areas of opportunity and help develop our strengths. Many of our new troopers have learned to adapt to this fast-paced training environment," said Sfc. Billy Abbott, B Troop motor sergeant. "Working long hours while creating an environment focused on growth have allowed natural leaders to stand out among our ranks."

Abbott said that Soldiers have helped maintain routines while also dedicating time to preparing for the board.

The Auto Platoon is an essential element to the troop's success. Auto Platoon is comprised of four unscheduled services sections, two scheduled service sections, two contact teams, two recovery teams, and a Shop Office. The platoon has serviced over 200 vehicles over the past six months, including maintaining regularly scheduled services and 5988 maintenance worksheet processing.
The Non-Commissioned Officers assigned to B Troop take pride in their work, in particular the work that goes beyond their routine.
"At a senior level running periods of 24-hour operations has forced me to become far more observant and reliant on the leadership capabilities of my junior leaders," Sfc. Abbott said.
Currently, the Blacksmith mechanics are preparing vehicles for NTC. Leading the Technical Inspection lanes, Sgt. Stephen Derr, provided insight on the importance of the mission.
"The field training has allowed me to communicate the connection between turning wrenches and the lethality of our unit as a whole," Derr said. "When we preach 'Support the Line,' our Soldiers understand that it's a team effort to maintain other squadrons' operational readiness and continue in the fight."