Soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division’s Sustainment Brigade witnessed the activation of the 716th Maintenance Platoon on Fort Stewart, Georgia, Dec. 16, 2022. The 716th Maint. Plt. will be a part of the brigade’s 87th Division Sustainment Support Battalion and will add a field-level maintenance capability as part of a holistic modernization process across the U.S. Army’s only armored division east of the Mississippi River. The 3rd ID has been modernizing in pursuit of the Army’s 2030 vision and is on track to become the force’s most modernized armored division within a year.
“During the past 18 months, the [3rd ID] has been going through modernization, receiving and training on the most modern and lethal ground and rotary wing combat equipment available in the world,” said Col. David P. Key, commander of the 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade. “The activation of this platoon is a key component of the division’s continued modernization as we collectively prepare for sustained, large-scale combat operations.”
Army 2030 has driven changes to organizations’ structure and doctrine as the ground component’s focus shifts from counter-insurgency operations to a future fight against a near-peer force in multiple domains beyond simply land, sea and air, and now includes space and cyberspace. As the division fields much more technical and complicated systems to compete with any potential enemy, sustainment functions must modernize concurrently to ensure unit readiness in a challenging global political environment.
Key and the 716th platoon leader, 2nd Lt. Maggie E. Fitzgerald, unveiled a commemorative plaque as part of the official ceremony, with the formation of Soldiers standing in the background.
The 716th Maint. Plt. will have 33 Soldiers and is designed to provide surge maintenance capacity that is tailored and flexible to fill potential gaps in maintaining M1 Abrams, M2 and M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and Stryker combat vehicles. Maintenance teams will provide service and recovery operations and will be equipped with armored vehicles to support mobile, forward repair operations, including M88 recovery vehicles, one of the largest armored recovery track vehicles in the U.S. military. For the Soldiers of the Army’s newest unit, the training calendar has already been built.
“In the near future, we will deploy two maintenance surge teams to provide additional maintenance support to 2nd Brigade during their [National Training Center] rotation,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Francisco P. Rico, the unit’s technical leader and advisor. “During this rotation, we will be actively engaged with maintenance and recovery of heavy equipment. With the completion of this training, we will be better prepared to overcome the complexity and chaos of tomorrow’s battlefield.”