By Pamela ProperOctober 4, 2011
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait, Oct. 4, 2011 -- It's every boy's dream, tinkering with robots.
Soldiers in the Joint Robotics Repair Detachment at Camp Arifjan get to do that daily. They are members of an elite program trained specifically to repair robots that are used for route clearance and Explosive Ordnance Disposal.
Staff Sgt. Xavier Smith, 34, is a robot repair technician assigned to the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade, and it's evident he loves his job, repairing robotic platforms fielded in Iraq.
"Everything about the job is fascinating, especially knowing that robots can and do save lives," said Smith.
"My team and I fix everything from the communication issues to replacing entire electronic assemblies," said Smith. "
Robots are extremely useful battle buddies because they limit a Soldier's interaction with suspected improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, vehicle borne improvised explosive devices, or VBIEDs, and Homemade Explosives, said Smith.
Smith is so impressed with the training he and fellow Reserve Soldiers received that he encourages others to check it out as another military career option.
"The training that we receive at Selfridge, Michigan, is phenomenal. Basically, we learn how to operate, troubleshoot and repair all robotic platforms currently in OND/OEF," said Smith.
The Department of Defense program is managed by the Robotic Joint System Project Office and is staffed by Marine Corps and Army Reserve personnel. Smith said Soldiers interested in the program should visit the web site, www.rsjpo.army.mil.