MCAGCC, Twentynine Palms, Calif. -- Every day, Combat Center Marines rely on different forms of motor transportation to do something as small as pick up the mail, or as large as moving a battalion to a new location in a 5-ton truck, but what happens when the vehicles that are so crucial to mission accomplishment break down?
That's where the Marines of Engineer/ Motor Transport Maintenance Platoon, Combat Service Support Group 1, step into the picture.
"The Marine Corps would be in a big hurt locker without us," said Gunnery Sgt. Fabian Lechuga, heavy equipment maintenance chief, EMTM, CSSG-1.
The EMTM Marines provide quick and accurate third-echelon maintenance to all of the tenant commands aboard the Combat Center. EMTM is equipped to do every thing from repairing engines and transmissions, to welding howitzers, and even machining new parts for vehicles and weapons systems, said Master Sgt. Freddie McDonald, maintenance chief, EMTM.
"We have to make sure all the gear gets back to the units on time," said Sgt. Selvin Gomez, utilities, EMTM. "If the units don't have their gear, we're not doing our job."
EMTM has three mechanics departments: utilities, motor transport and heavy equipment. The platoon also has a welding shop and machine shop, which are supported by publications, the tool room and layettes.
The utilities shop works mainly on equipment necessary to efficient building operation, such as air conditioning units.
"If supply has all of the parts we need, we can have the unit working in about half a day," said Gomez.
The motor transport section uses unit removal replacement to ensure fast vehicle returns to units.
"If we have everything we need from supply we can usually have the vehicles back in three days," said Sgt. Scott Andrews, motor transport, EMTM.
The heavy equipment shop repairs all the heavy moving equipment, such as forklifts, while the welding shop can repair everything from Humvees to cracked howitzers.
"We have the best welding shop on base," said Cpl. Anthony Gomez, welding shop, EMTM. "All of the units on base come to us for help and advice on problems they are having with their equipment."
The machine shop is capable of handling the Combat Center's metal needs. If a unit needs something retooled, or a new part for a weapons system, the machine shop is equipped to do it, said McDonald.
The publications section, tool room and layettes work closely with the engineer section to ensure the engineers and mechanics have all the supplies, tools and information they may need to quickly and effectively repair a vehicle.
"Additional maintenance support is provided through the use of on-site contact teams and overflow maintenance support," said McDonald. "On-site contact teams provide units with rapid vehicle repairs, which enhance the unit's readiness and effectiveness."
"Sometimes you have to work long hours to make sure everything gets done," said Lance Cpl. Marcelino Gonzalez, motor transport, EMTM. "You just have to keep going because mission accomplishment is priority number one."