Corpus Christi, TX -- For the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade (1ACB) from Fort Hood, TX, Depot Level training at the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) is like pulling back a curtain that reveals the synchronization of effort, craftsmanship and pride that keeps the Army flying.
1ACB Soldiers recently were able to work side-by-side with CCAD artisans with clear-cut insight to the teardown, repair and overhaul of rotary winged aircraft and components.
Although basic maintenance training is learned at the unit level, there are various levels Soldiers must master within their brigade prior to their next duty assignment. When an advanced Depot level training became available, the 1ACB unit seized the opportunity.
“Some Soldiers are here to do certain repair work training on the Blackhawks and the Apaches. They’re specialists in certain parts of the aircraft, specifically in engine repair and hydraulics repair,” said 1st Lieutenant Bill Pogue, 1ACB officer in charge.
As the Officer in Charge (OIC), 1st Lieutenant Bill Pogue, joins the unit in a learning role. He observes the maintenance training, meets with Depot leaders, shadows Directors and participates in management decision making processes.
Pogue is no stranger to the Depot, he is a second generation aviation branch Soldier, and the son of a former CCAD commander. Having completed a West Point Capstone project and an internship at CCAD, he understands the value of training.
The 1ACB Soldiers trained in numerous areas of operations, including engines, airframe repair and hydraulics. Among the trainees, three crew chiefs are responsible for specific aircraft. Pogue continues, “They're getting opportunities to do maintenance that they would not otherwise get to do at the organization level. Depot level maintenance is exciting.”
The Soldier training program at the Depot is twofold, skilled artisans are passing on the many years of experience to a new generation of rotary aviation mechanics, while ensuring the continuation of precise and detailed work. The work is vital to the mission the Warfighter carries out in field.
Private First Class Rhiannon Moon and Specialist Dalton Greenlee worked on the T-55 engine, installing the four and five bearing supply line hoses, under the tutelage and watchful eye of aircraft mechanic Thomas Sutherland.
As a prior military service member, Sutherland, has experienced the opportunity to work with Depot level artisans and understands the importance of hands-on training.
“I remember what it was like. I never would’ve had the chance to do Depot level work when I was in the military, until we had an engine blow up. Artisans from the Depot came down and I got to work with one of them. So, I got to learn side by side with him, just like we’re doing now.” explained Sutherland.
Specialist Jesus Escudero worked on the inlet of an engine, adding the anti-seize lubricant into the threads of the component so the bolts do not get stuck when assembled. Together with Specialist Matthew Smalley, Escudero carefully calibrated engine components using specialized tool kits for the intricate assembly.
“They may never get another chance to do all this work, so it gives them a much better understanding of the process,” Sutherland continued.
Each day, the unit members and CCAD artisans display teamwork as a reflection of the organizational values that enable mission success in support of the Department of the Army and the American Warfighter by sustaining the work ethic and superior craftsmanship.
“This level of training allows us to fully understanding the importance of each step and the detail needed to successfully complete the task,” said Escudero.
Precision, accuracy and detail are the hallmarks that ultimately enables CCAD and the Army to provide a safe, quality aircraft to customers.