News: 1SBCT mechanics learn new systems
Story by Spc. William Howard
FORT CARSON, Colo. Soldiers wearing hard hats and eye protection carefully raise a Stryker’s engine with an indoor crane while receiving detailed instructions from the civilian contractors of General Dynamics, Corp, during Field Level Maintenance New Equipment Training (FLMNET), May 5.
The day’s lesson is part of a more than a three month long training that will familiarize the mechanics of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, with the double-V hull Stryker platform.
“We teach them the ins and outs and the Soldiers will spend each day taking apart and putting the vehicle back together,” said Jim Bilnoski, FLMNET instructor, General Dynamics, Corp. “They will be able to repair all the systems on all 10 variants.”
The Soldiers have varying mechanic related military occupation specialties and will become Stryker systems maintainers by the end of the training.
“Strykers are very unique compared to other wheeled vehicles,” said Spc. Charles Byrd, wheeled vehicle mechanic, Company G, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 1SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. “When you get back to your unit, you never know if the Soldiers that are Stryker mechanics might need your help.”
Sgt. Ian Lowenstein, Stryker systems maintainer, Troop D, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1SBCT, 4th Inf. Div., said that the reason he loves working on Strykers is not only their versatility, but also their ability to save his fellow Soldiers.
“I’ve met Soldiers during a deployment that survived a blast while in a Stryker,” said Lowenstein. “There was one Stryker that was in a 15 feet hole with the wheels blown off but everybody on board survived.”
Groups of four Soldiers per instructor will learn about the wheeled section, mobile gun system and armament of each Stryker variation over the duration of the training.
“We have some good students coming through, they are learning and paying attention,” said Bilnoski. “They will return to their units ready to maintain the Stryker for as long as the Army needs it.”