CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - Every week, Soldiers from the G "Gunfighter" Forward Support Company, Task Force 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division head to the motor pool to conduct a critical mission; preventive maintenance.

The first step in preventive maintenance is to wash down the vehicles before lining them up four deep on each side of the maintenance bay ready for inspection. According to Pfc. Joshua McGowan from Tampa, Fla., a driver with the distribution platoon, washing the vehicles is important because it helps the mechanics see anything on the vehicle that could hinder the mission.

"Preventive maintenance checks and services are the foundation of the Army Maintenance Program. It all starts with the vehicle operators; that's how faults are found. The mechanics conduct weekly Quality Assurance Inspections to ensure that vehicles are 100% combat-ready and can complete the mission," said Sgt. Wesley Cox of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, a mechanic with the maintenance platoon.

Not only are routine maintenance checks conducted, but necessary upgrades to the vehicles are installed during weekly preventive maintenance.

"We're replacing the cab windows. The old windows had bubbles and a lower ballistic rating so we're upgrading them as part of weekly maintenance," said Spc. Steven Lay from San Antonio, Texas.

Staff Sgt. Robert Mazon, from Belen, N.M., a driver with the distribution platoon said, "Military vehicles are no different from your personally owned vehicle except there are a lot more parts. Every time you get gas in your vehicle at home you're supposed to check the oil - no one does it, but you're supposed to do it. It's the same idea at the maintenance yard-we are the force making sure the platoons are mission capable."