Modernized Stryker maintenance platoon activates at JBLM

By Sgt. 1st Class P. BehringerOctober 20, 2023

Soldiers of the 35th Maintenance Surge Team-Stryker pose for a photograph during the new platoon’s activation ceremony, October 18, 2023, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The 35th MST-S is the first of a new type of maintenance platoon designed to modernize field-level maintenance capabilities for the Stryker family of vehicles, and falls under the 542nd Support Maintenance Company, 13 Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 593 Expeditionary Sustainment Command.
1 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers of the 35th Maintenance Surge Team-Stryker pose for a photograph during the new platoon’s activation ceremony, October 18, 2023, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The 35th MST-S is the first of a new type of maintenance platoon designed to modernize field-level maintenance capabilities for the Stryker family of vehicles, and falls under the 542nd Support Maintenance Company, 13 Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 593 Expeditionary Sustainment Command. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Keaton Habeck) VIEW ORIGINAL
Soldiers of the 35th Maintenance Surge Team-Stryker stand in formation during the new platoon’s activation ceremony, October 18, 2023, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The 35th MST-S is the first of a new type of maintenance platoon designed to modernize field-level maintenance capabilities for the Stryker family of vehicles, and falls under the 542nd Support Maintenance Company, 13 Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 593 Expeditionary Sustainment Command.
2 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers of the 35th Maintenance Surge Team-Stryker stand in formation during the new platoon’s activation ceremony, October 18, 2023, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The 35th MST-S is the first of a new type of maintenance platoon designed to modernize field-level maintenance capabilities for the Stryker family of vehicles, and falls under the 542nd Support Maintenance Company, 13 Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 593 Expeditionary Sustainment Command. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Keaton Habeck) VIEW ORIGINAL
Soldiers of the 35th Maintenance Surge Team-Stryker stand in formation with the platoon’s newly uncased colors a ceremony commemorating its activation, October 18, 2023, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The 35th MST-S is the first of a new type of maintenance platoon designed to modernize field-level maintenance capabilities for the Stryker family of vehicles, and falls under the 542nd Support Maintenance Company, 13 Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 593 Expeditionary Sustainment Command.
3 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers of the 35th Maintenance Surge Team-Stryker stand in formation with the platoon’s newly uncased colors a ceremony commemorating its activation, October 18, 2023, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The 35th MST-S is the first of a new type of maintenance platoon designed to modernize field-level maintenance capabilities for the Stryker family of vehicles, and falls under the 542nd Support Maintenance Company, 13 Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 593 Expeditionary Sustainment Command. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Keaton Habeck) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Torrees (left), and 1st Lt. Mary Smith, the 35th Maintenance Platoon sergeant and platoon leader, uncase the 35th Maintenance Surge Team-Stryker colors the new platoon’s activation ceremony, October 18, 2023, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. “As a former (Stryker systems maintainer) … Instructor, being part of the first Stryker (maintenance surge team) in the U.S. Army is such an honor,” said Torrees. “This is so unique that it feels like a broadening assignment. We will set the standard for other future MST's to follow. My (non-commissioned officers) and I are ready to develop and mentor the future (Stryker systems maintainer) subject matter experts in our field.” The 35th MST-S is the first of a new type of maintenance platoon designed to modernize field-level maintenance capabilities for the Stryker family of vehicles, and falls under the 542nd Support Maintenance Company, 13 Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 593 Expeditionary Sustainment Command.
4 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Torrees (left), and 1st Lt. Mary Smith, the 35th Maintenance Platoon sergeant and platoon leader, uncase the 35th Maintenance Surge Team-Stryker colors the new platoon’s activation ceremony, October 18, 2023, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. “As a former (Stryker systems maintainer) … Instructor, being part of the first Stryker (maintenance surge team) in the U.S. Army is such an honor,” said Torrees. “This is so unique that it feels like a broadening assignment. We will set the standard for other future MST's to follow. My (non-commissioned officers) and I are ready to develop and mentor the future (Stryker systems maintainer) subject matter experts in our field.” The 35th MST-S is the first of a new type of maintenance platoon designed to modernize field-level maintenance capabilities for the Stryker family of vehicles, and falls under the 542nd Support Maintenance Company, 13 Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 593 Expeditionary Sustainment Command. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Keaton Habeck) VIEW ORIGINAL
Soldiers of the 35th Maintenance Surge Team-Stryker stand in formation during the new platoon’s activation ceremony, October 18, 2023, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The 35th MST-S is the first of a new type of maintenance platoon designed to modernize field-level maintenance capabilities for the Stryker family of vehicles, and falls under the 542nd Support Maintenance Company, 13 Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 593 Expeditionary Sustainment Command.
5 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers of the 35th Maintenance Surge Team-Stryker stand in formation during the new platoon’s activation ceremony, October 18, 2023, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The 35th MST-S is the first of a new type of maintenance platoon designed to modernize field-level maintenance capabilities for the Stryker family of vehicles, and falls under the 542nd Support Maintenance Company, 13 Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 593 Expeditionary Sustainment Command. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Keaton Habeck) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE LEWIS MCCHORD, Wash. — The first of three specialized platoons across the Army is primed to modernize field-level maintenance capabilities for the Stryker family of vehicles.

Nested within the 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, the new 35th Maintenance Surge Team-Stryker, bolsters the command’s already robust resume as it aims to remedy a shortfall in combat system field-level maintenance as the Army’s first MST specialized for the Stryker family of vehicles.

The 35th MST-S was activated under the 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion during a ceremony October 18.

“I have been a (Stryker systems maintainer) for 11 years,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Luperico, a new member of the 35th MST-S. “This is a true honor to stand up a whole new unit just for (Stryker systems maintainers) to build combat power for the Pacific region and keep America’s fighting force (ready) to answer the nation’s call.”

The new formation enables the 593rd ESC’s mission to deploy and provide I Corps direct sustainment resources in support of its commitment to peace and security throughout the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. This platoon now supports Stryker-equipped tenant units of 7th Infantry Division on Joint Base Lewis-McChord and may potentially have a global impact if directed to deploy in support of other Stryker-equipped units under FORSCOM.

“There is a reason you're authorized your own guidon,” Lt. Col. Jeffrey Buckner, 13th CSSB commander, said, addressing the Soldiers representing the team. “Your platoon is designed to deploy worldwide without a home station or higher headquarters to provide maintenance support to any Stryker equipped formation.”

Typically, Forward Support Companies are the closest designated maintenance asset for Stryker units, and equipment must be transported to Brigade Support Areas for repairs. The 35th MST-S will bridge the echelon gap and redefine the 593rd ESC’s motto, “Support the Corps,” by delivering maintenance power to the equipment instead.

During his remarks, Buckner explained the maintenance echelon gap was formally identified after years of gathering data, and the Army has since reprioritized resources and personnel to direct support where it is most needed.

"What we do now in the first year of our training and activation will rewrite doctrine in the Army and show us what maintenance and sustainment can do to better ourselves … and better our support across the First Corps,” said 1st Lt. Mary Smith, the 35th MST-S platoon leader.

Over the next several months, the 35th Maintenance Platoon will be integrating new personnel and training mechanics while providing direct support to 7th ID Stryker units as they receive modernized equipment and transition their current Strykers to the National Guard.

Buckner emphasized the significance of this change in how the Army does maintenance, and his appreciation for the opportunity to witness history in the making from the front lines as the commanding officer.

“Soldiers of the 35th, I want you to be proud of your positions in the history of this unit," Buckner continued, addressing the formation. “The (maintenance support teams) that come after you in Korea and at Fort Carson will benefit from the lessons we learn and standards we set for training, support, and employing your capabilities.”