MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- The units break it, and maintenance fixes it. They keep the vehicles rolling, spending long hours providing maintenance to the vehicles used during Mojave Viper pre-deployment training.
Marines at the motor pool on Camp Wilson put in long hours to ensure the Marines and sailors training have vehicles to operate without any problems.
“When there is an average work day it ranges from 7:30 a.m. to 1830 [6:30 p.m.],” said Warrant Officer Gregory Goodman, Mojave Viper maintenance officer. “We have a 24-hour maintenance and operations duty to go out and fix vehicles if something happens in the night. Marines probably average a total of 70-90 hours a week working seven days a week.”
Currently, a total of 17 Marines and four civilians split the work to support the training units. Combat Logistics Battalion-7 and Exercise Support Division also supports them.
“The workload depends upon the training units,” said Goodman. “It depends on what gets broke. Sometimes the workload is slow, sometimes it’s not.”
Another time-consuming aspect for the Marines is gear issue and return.
“We issue out 400 pieces of gear from heavy equipment to motor-t [transportation] gear,” said Goodman. “It’s very fast paced, and these Marines are very impressive constantly.”
A generator mechanic, engineer equipment mechanic and heavy equipment operator are only a few of the many military occupational specialties present in the maintenance section.
“I transfer gear to training units,” said Cpl. Patrick Pierga, heavy equipment operator. “My favorite part is knowing that I helped provide the proper tools for Marines to train for Iraq.”
Lance Cpl. Steve Meszaros a generator mechanic also likes the satisfaction of providing for the Marines but can put into perspective the work it takes to achieve that.
“We come in early, we do preventative maintenance oil changes, operation checks, and go around Camp Wilson to the armories and other places making sure their generators are working properly,” said Meszaros. “The hours are long. Sometimes we can get calls in the middle of the night for contact runs. That’s when a generator goes down and we have to go out and fix it.”
Working closely with the maintenance section is the Motor-Transport who also has long hours to ensure that the vehicles remain running.
“We have 16 Marines on our day crew and six on our night crew,” said Motor-T chief, Staff Sgt. Macario Ruiz. “When units come on deck and need certain vehicles we drive ESD to the motor pool. We also refuel all the vehicles whether they come to us or are stationary.”
As long as Marines continue to train out at Camp Wilson support elements will continue to assist in their road to success. The long hours and hard work all pay off in the end with mission accomplishment.