By Pfc. Bailey Anne Jester, 1st BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div., MND-BOctober 20, 2009
BAGHDAD - Missions run by Soldiers with 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division wouldn't happen without the support of the mechanics behind the scenes.
"Our mission is to sustain and support vehicles for the whole [joint security station] and make sure they are all running and mission ready," said Brooklyn, N.Y., native Sgt. 1st Class Aussie Barker, team chief assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment.
Mechanics are located at both Camp Taji and Joint Security Station War Eagle and they work hard to successfully complete their mission at both locations, said Barker.
"These guys do a lot of hard work," said Kempner, Texas, native, Warrant Officer Daniel Rude, the battalion's maintenance technician. "They work on all of brigade's vehicles, not just [2nd Bn., 5th Cav. Regt.]. They work hard and deserve more recognition than they receive."
These mechanics are responsible for all of the brigade's vehicles, combat logistical patrols and the generators located the unit's living area.
The mechanics also help and assist the Iraqi Army Soldiers by giving them on-site training.
"We assist the IA anyway we can," said Rude. "As long as they put forth the effort and show us they are trying to learn, we are willing to help."
"The IA ask for parts, but they don't know how to properly install them," said Barker. "They install the parts into their vehicle and a couple days later it breaks."
To stop the cycle of replacing broken parts, U.S. mechanics work side by side with the IA mechanics, said Barker.
"We show them how to do things, than they apply it to their own vehicles," Rude said. "It is just as important for their vehicles to be functional and running as it is for ours."
"These Soldiers may not be on the front lines," explains Rude, "but these behind the scenes jobs that they do are important for those Soldiers to continue with their mission."