By Sgt. Jared CrainMay 13, 2010
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - Families, friends and fellow Soldiers waited anxiously for members of 514th Maintenance Company to come marching through the doors of Magrath Gym during a redeployment ceremony May 1.
The 514th Maintenance Company was deployed for a yearlong mission in Iraq to provide maintenance support. Soldiers did maintenance on everything from wheeled and track vehicles to generators, trailers, calibration and many other areas, said Capt. Christopher Tramontana, company commander.
"It feels great to be home, and I'm excited about seeing my Family," said Sgt. 1st Class Ruby Johnson, automotive maintenance senior adviser for the company.
"The Soldiers were outstanding, and I'm very proud of everyone," Johnson said.
"It was the most challenging thing in my career, but the end result justifies how well we did," Johnson said. From the Soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers, they came together as a team and accomplished the mission, she added.
"We are the only company to start a Mine Resistance Ambush Protected Vehicle support center, so we know more about the vehicle than most civilian contractors, and hopefully we can bring back some of the knowledge we learned from over there," Tramontana said.
The company developed clean sweep teams to go in and help close down three forward operating bases and reintroduced millions of dollars of Army parts, supplies and equipment, he said.
"The company did more than 5,000 maintenance work orders, three times the number of work orders the previous unit did," Tramontana said.
"My team was the only calibration team north of Balad. We had 10,000 hours in calibration repair and more than 7,000 individual work orders," said Staff Sgt. April Brown, Test Measure Diagnostic Equipment senior team chief for 514th Maintenance Company.
"The power of this company is phenomenal," Tramontana said.
"The company also has the only computer numeric-controlled machine in the Army that you can program, and it cuts anything you want it to cut," Brown said.
Soldiers of 514th Maintenance Company have learned skills they would have never learned if they had not deployed and Soldiers who cross-trained in other military occupational specialties, Tramontana said.
"It was an absolutely incredible experience," he added.