CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan --
With the high demand placed on vehicles, engines and generators operating in extreme conditions across southwestern Afghanistan, there is a constant and vital necessity for experienced maintenance Marines to keep it all functioning and in the fight.
Each individual unit throughout Regional Command Southwest has mechanics to work on engines, whether for a truck or generator, but they aren’t equipped to perform the higher levels of maintenance.
Marines with 2nd Maintenance Battalion (-) (Reinforced), 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) have the capability, equipment and experience needed to do such maintenance.
“The using unit starts the maintenance cycle any time the gear doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do,” said Staff Sgt. William J. Evans, a floor chief with 2nd Maint. Bn. “A lot of the problems are taken care of at that level, but if it’s more in depth, they send it to the [Intermediate Maintenance Activities] lot.”
Once at the lot, the intermediate maintenance crew further diagnoses the issue, added Evans.
“If the engine is faulty, they remove the engine and bring it to my Marines,” explained Evans. “We take it from there, and if there’s any way to save it, we do.”
With Marines from different military occupational specialties like motor transportation, heavy equipment operators, generator mechanics and ordnance vehicle maintenance, the crew’s knowledge and skills prevent approximately 10 engines a month from being sent stateside for repairs.
“Even though we can’t fix all of the engines, having the ability to fix the ones we do, reduces the amount of time the Marines have to go without transportation and electricity,” said Evans.
Time isn’t the only thing the maintenance crew prevents from going to waste.
“Every [Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected] and [MRAP All Terrain Vehicle] engine that doesn’t have to get shipped back to the states to be repaired, saves the Marine Corps approximately 31,000 dollars in shipping and maintenance fees,” explained Evans. “Having a maintenance crew here who are able to replace an oil pan, and give the engine back to the unit is a huge asset.”
Properly functioning equipment is vital to overall mission accomplishment, which is why the Marines with 2nd Maint. Bn. work day in and day out to keep it all running.