News: Arrowhead Week highlights mission readiness
Story by Staff Sgt. Christopher McCullough
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - One only needs to turn on the television or pick up a newspaper to know that the world is a volatile place. That is why it is so important for military units, like 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, who can be called on at any time, to maintain a constant state of readiness.
With the brigade recently back from a monthlong training exercise at National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., there is substantial wear and tear to vehicles and equipment. To address this, 3-2 SBCT, 7th Infantry Division, held Arrowhead Week March 3-7.
This weeklong initiative focused on maintenance at every level, beginning with soldiers' personal assets such as uniforms, bulletproof vests and chemical protection gear, on up to company-level items such as tents, trucks, armored personnel carriers and cannons.
"Everybody has equipment that they have to maintain, whether it's vehicles, weapons, or personal gear," said 1st Lt. Gary Divito, of Wooster, Ohio, the executive officer for the brigade's Headquarters and Headquarters Company.
Divito explained that this means keeping equipment mission-ready at all times, which involves coordination between the soldiers who are accountable for the equipment and personnel who are specially trained to maintain it.
One part of Arrowhead Week that was especially important was the Stryker Stand-down Days. The intent behind this was to bring Stryker operators together with maintenance crews to discover faults that were outside the scope of regular maintenance.
This was a chance for maintenance techs, motor sergeants, shop office personnel, and Stryker operators to examine areas they would not normally look at, said the Master Sgt. David Lee an Alexandria, Va., native and the support operations sergeant for 3-2 SBCT.
Lee explained that on long training exercise, such as NTC, hard- to-reach parts inside of vehicles can become damaged or dislodged. Stryker Stand-down Days allow everyone who works with a Stryker to get their hands dirty and examine the vehicle inside and out to ensure that every part is functional and mission-ready.
When parts do break, though, Staff Sgt. Bradley Southern, a mechanic with 3-2 SBCT, said his mechanics "will look up the part, place it on order, and when it comes in, we would install the part on the truck and test the truck to ensure it is back to fully mission-capable status."
Southern, a Yadkinville, N.C., native and motor sergeant for 18th Engineer Company, 3-2 SBCT, said his soldiers are diligent at keeping vehicles mission capable, because his unit relies so heavily on them.
Although Arrowhead Week was a chance to focus almost exclusively on maintenance, it is far from the only time this equipment will be inspected, serviced and repaired to ensure that 3-2 SBCT readiness.