AFSBN claims second at Army-wide competition
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – FORT CARSON, Colo. — Alfio Nigo, a ground support equipment mechanic, with Army Field Support Battalion-Carson Installation Maintenance Division, performs maintenance on a Fort Carson Fire Department fire engine at the AFSBN-Carson maintenance facility Sept. 23, 2022. (Photo Credit: Scott Prater) VIEW ORIGINAL
AFSBN claims second at Army-wide competition
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – FORT CARSON, Colo. — An Army Field Support Battalion-Carson Installation Maintenance Division mechanic works on the underside of a Humvee at the AFSBN-Carson maintenance facility Sept. 23, 2022. (Photo Credit: Scott Prater) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT CARSON, Colo. — The Installation Maintenance Division team at Army Field Support Battalion-Carson was named one of the best in the Army recently.

Frank Grulkowski, IMD chief at AFSBN-Carson, traveled to Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, last week to accept runner-up honors for the unit in the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence (AAME) competition.

The contest is conducted each year to recognize Army units that perform field-level and depot-level maintenance and have demonstrated the highest level of exceptional achievement in maintenance and maintenance management. The AAME award program aims to improve combat readiness and enhance organization performance.

“We’re excited,” Grulkowski said. “I think what stood out for us was the uniqueness of our mission. We have a variety of different fleets to maintain.”

The IMD team’s primary mission is to repair and maintain the Fort Carson garrison’s fleet of commercial vehicles, which include fire trucks, tractors, dump trucks, snowplows and mowers, to name a few; and that totals about 2,500 pieces of equipment.

However, the team of civilians and contractors also maintains Army tactical vehicles at its maintenance facility — everything from Humvees to Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) and other combat platforms.

They also provide maintenance to automotives, night-vision goggles, small arms, fire-control systems as well as communication and electronics equipment. AFSBN-Carson IMD teams even travel to eight western states to perform maintenance on howitzers used for avalanche mitigation.

AFSBN-Carson’s IMD team entered the 2022 competition as part of the Table of Distribution and Allowances category. The team first competed at the brigade level, where they represented the 407th Army Field Support Brigade. A win there qualified the team to compete at the Army Sustainment Command level and another win there helped it advance to compete against other Army Materiel Command teams. That’s when a team of U.S. Army Ordnance evaluators arrived at the Mountain Post to perform an on-site assessment. Once that went smoothly, it put the team in the hunt for the Department of the Army level competition, where they were outlasted by just one other team.

“The on-site evaluators talked to a lot of our (staff members) and they were impressed with our operation,” Bunch said. “They commented on at least five areas of the operation.”

When people travel around Fort Carson and see a bunch of large buildings, some may wonder what goes on in them. AFSBN-Carson’s main maintenance facility sits off O’Connell Drive on the post’s northeast side. And though it’s one of the largest buildings on post, building 8000 is largely unassuming and unimpressive.

“Our teams really work behind the scenes,” Grulkowski said. “People don’t think about maintenance until the snow days occur. But, that’s when we have crews showing up at 3 a.m. to begin plowing roads. That’s all done through maintenance, and it’s facilitated through here. It’s nice to get some recognition. Our team is proud of the award.”