Story and Photos by Sgt. Daniel Schroeder, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs
Eleven Soldiers from the Logistics Kandak, Kandahar Air Wing graduated from the first level 3 ground maintenance certification course on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, July 9.
Wheeled vehicle mechanics from Headquarters Support Company, 209th Aviation Support Battalion, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade instructed the KAW soldiers on NATO and Afghan criteria for entry level wheeled vehicle mechanics.
“This class was good for the motor skills of the Soldiers, noncommissioned officers, and officers,” said Capt. Abdul Qahar, the maintenance officer for the transportation section of the KAW. “We now have the ability to fix the Rangers, Internationals, HMMWVs (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) and LMTVs (Light Medium Tactical Vehicle) on a mission if something were to happen.”
Before the KAW soldiers learned how to repair the vehicles, they received instruction on maintenance safety.
“We taught them to remove any watches, rings, loose fitting clothing, and anything that could be snagged while working on a vehicle,” said Spc. Dennis Spiller, assistant instructor and wheeled vehicle mechanic with HSC, 209th ASB, 25th CAB, originally from Austin, Texas. “We also instructed them on the proper protective gear to wear during maintenance. If you are not safe, you can get hurt and not be able to do your job.”
Along with safety, other covered areas included replacing basic parts on the engine and transmission, and troubleshooting procedures for maintenance and electrical issues.
“[Afghan mechanics] picked up on the training quickly,” Spiller said. “They showed an eagerness to learn about their vehicles and understood the process of troubleshooting swiftly.”
The KAW Soldiers were shown piece-by-piece what a disassembled engine looks like and replaced worn parts, such as alternators and air conditioning units, on their vehicles. They were also taught how to fill out a Ministry of Defense Roster 63, which is used to identify faults on a vehicle before it is turned in for maintenance.
“I am happy that my Soldiers and NCOs have received this important training because now they have the ability to fix the vehicle if repairs are needed while on a mission,” said Qahar. “Also, I do not have to worry about the safety of my soldiers during maintenance. I look forward to continuing the training with our advisors.”