Instructor lead training
Sgt. 1st Class David Cowell, a field-level, new-equipment instructor, (right), and Michael Brown, (center), an instructor working for Mantech, observe Sgt. Gerald Sands tackle a training task in the engine bay of an M1270 MMPV Type II during a two-we... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. -- Mechanics from Fort Carson and Fort Bragg recently spent two weeks at Detroit Arsenal training and testing on a new equipment in order to strengthen and certify their skills in their local motor pools.

Trainers Michael Brown, an instructor working for Mantech, and Sgt. 1st Class David Cowell, a field-level, new equipment instructor assigned to the Materiel Fielding and Training directorate, conducted the hands-on coursework specifically geared to an M1270 MMPV Type II route clearance vehicle. The MMPV, or Medium Mine Protected Vehicle, has only been used by the Army for a few years and has, according to Cowell, several unique characteristics requiring advanced instruction.

"This (training) is important because this is a new piece of equipment," Cowell said. "You think to yourself, 'okay, it's a truck and these are mechanics and they trained to be mechanics, so this shouldn't be anything new'."

"But I've never seen a truck that had pads and rotors in its configuration on all four wheels with pneumatic brakes," he said. "There are (also) nuances to the truck like the diagnostic software we went over today. It's the Viper II software which talks to the engine, transmission and the anti-lock brake system. That's going to be something they've never seen before."

"The important piece of this, basically, is to bring Soldiers up to speed on the uniqueness about the vehicle itself."

Cowell added, "You walk into any engineer motor pool and you're going to see dozens of different pieces of wheeled equipment. It's unrealistic to say that, 'well, you went to AIT (Advance Individual Training) to become a 91B (wheeled vehicle mechanic), so if it's got wheels, you should be able to fix it'."

Cowell added that the 80-hour course was conducted once or twice a month as required.

"Our full class load is eight," he said, "but we've had classes with as few as two students."

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The Materiel Fielding and Training directorate is a part of the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command's Integrated Logistics Support Center and is headquartered at Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Michigan.

About Tank-automotive and Armaments Command:

TACOM manages the Army's ground equipment supply chain, which constitutes about 60 percent of the Army's total equipment. If a Soldier drives it, shoots it, wears it or eats it, TACOM sustains it.

TACOM's Integrated Logistics Support Center executes repair parts planning and supply chain management for more than 3,500 weapon systems. These systems form the core of America's ground combat capability. When the force needs critical components delivered, whether at home or abroad, it depends on TACOM.

TACOM oversees six of the Army's manufacturing arsenals and maintenance depots across the United States, which are part of the Army's Organic Industrial Base. The industrial artisans from the Army's OIB deliver when the Army needs equipment manufactured, repaired, upgraded or modernized.

The Detroit Arsenal, home to TACOM headquarters, is the only active-duty U.S. Army installation in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Detroit Arsenal and its Michigan-based workforce of more than 6000 people contribute billions of dollars in economic impact to the region's economy each year.

TACOM's workforce includes highly skilled and uniquely qualified professionals, from engineers and industrial artisans to senior logisticians and business analysts. The largely civilian workforce is critical to supporting Army readiness around the world.

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