By Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Christopher Land, 319th MPAD.August 10, 2009
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Aug. 10, 2009)-- This truck needs an outer wheel seal, that one needs a marker-light lens.
The taillight is burned out on the one over there, and - oh, yeah -- those five have blown inner wheel seals.
The M915 line-haul trucks in use for Golden Cargo 2009 come in from their runs with problems ranging from the minor, quick-and-easy-to-fix issues like burned-out bulbs to more involved issues like inner wheel seals that have sealed their last. The repair of those can leave the uninitiated with the impression that the vehicle may never be put together again.
But it will be- tonight.
The Soldiers working in the maintenance shop for Golden Cargo 2009 here recently come from several units, but that has not hindered them from forming a team that approaches the repairs they need to execute nightly with enthusiasm and determination.
"They're working miracles in there," said Lt. Col. Robert Wiley, the commander of the 352nd Corps Support Service Battalion, Macon, Ga.
Those miracles help to keep the loads of explosive cargo Army Reserve truck drivers are hauling to and from McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, Okla., and Crane Army Ammunition Activity, Ind., moving during Golden Cargo 2009, the latest in a series of annual training operations sponsored by the Joint Munitions Command. The exercise, which is carried out by Army Reserve Soldiers and Marine and Navy personnel, is designed to offer real-world training to ordnance and transportation companies while completing an essential mission for JMC.
During the exercise, 25 to 30 Golden Cargo trucks roll in to Equipment Consolidation Site 66 on Fort Leonard Wood each evening, where they are processed, repaired as needed and set up to depart the next morning.
Whatever issues have arisen with the M915 line-haul trucks are addressed by the maintenance shop immediately so that the trucks can roll out with their convoys the next morning. That can make for some long days and late nights for the Soldiers turning the wrenches.
"Our goal is that every one of the trucks makes it here and makes it back," said Staff Sgt. Jeff Duncan, a mechanic from the 289th Corps Support Detachment, Athens, Ga., who is constantly reinforcing the lessons he teaches his young mechanics with a running dialogue of how to handle whatever is on the agenda.
To accomplish that goal takes knowledge, dedication and teamwork.
"The knowledge out there in that pool and the working together -- it's really incredible," Duncan said.
The result is trucks that are ready for their drivers.
One truck has a repaired outer wheel seal, one has a shiny new marker-light lens.
The taillight is no longer burned out on the one over there, and those five with the blown inner wheel seals'
All fixed and ready to roll.