By Eye on the 401stJune 26, 2007
TACOM Life Cycle Management Command's Forward Repair Activity at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, continues churning out vehicles and repair parts, keeping vehicles on the road and Soldiers in the fight.
Randy Hughes, a Department of the Army civilian deployed from Anniston Army Depot, Ala., oversees the FRA operations at Camp Arifjan and, in May, began his 10th deployment in theater along with Alonzo Johnson, a crew leader deployed from Red River Army Depot, Texas.
"I want to do my part, that's why I'm here serving. I have great respect for Soldiers and I like to do what ever I can to assist them," said Hughes, who is currently serving a six-month deployment.
"I like what I'm doing, and my depot believes in me. Every rotation is different. I'm a vet and just want to do all that I can to support the troops, It's in my blood," said Johnson.
The FRA deploys government civilian mechanics and technicians on a rotating basis from RRAD and ANAD. This highly-skilled team of more than 50 mechanics, welders and other technicians re-build HMMWV engines, fuel injectors, transmissions, generators, alternators and differentials.
They also up-armor HMMWVs through a contract with L3 Communications and were recently funded to rebuild engines for Heavy Equipment Transporter Trucks.
The FRA also manages a welding shop and a mobile parts hospital; a pair of small metal shipping containers with a computerized high-tech steel lathe/milling device that can build almost any metal part at a moment's notice to keep missions "on line and on time."
The team has manufactured new components such as gun mounts, special mechanic tools and valves, based off of nothing more than a Soldier's idea and rough pencil sketch. It is this kind of ingenuity and willingness to take on a challenge that allows the FRA to serve the warfighter in a meaningful way.
The shop also includes a refurbishment and repair shop for the M-1117, the Armored Security Vehicle and a state-of-the-art repair shop for the M1A1 Tank Tiger Engine. The Tiger shop recently added a "clean room" as part of the repair shop to keep fine sand and dust away from delicate engine components.
The team at the FRA works well together and most have a special relationship with the Soldiers they support, as most are military veterans and consider their service as an honorable continuation of their military years.
"The team produces quality work. We have a saying around here," says Hughes, "We can fix anything from a HETT to a broken heart."