News: Welders from Production Plant Barstow take on challenges all around the base
Story by Lance Cpl. Norman Eckles
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE BARSTOW, Calif. - Production Plant Barstow on Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., plays a key role in the repairing process on ground combat equipment that has returned from combat.
The men in the welding shop work not only in their shop but they also have two welders who travel and complete welding jobs in other shops that may have to equipment too large or cumbersome to be moved.
Robert Hoskin and Alcario Castaneda comprise the mobile unit. They travel around MDMC welding each vehicle at the finalizing stations as well as welding on various weapons systems.
The finalizing station is the last place vehicles are worked on prior to being sent their original unit. In this stage, the personnel will carefully inspect the vehicle to see if there’s a crack anywhere on the frame.
The job on the mobile cart is always changing, explained Castaneda.
“Each day is filled with challenges that we deal with and we have to change the way we weld accordingly,” explained Castaneda.
Because the welding process changes with different requests, the two men also do a lot of traveling. They also have to travel across the base.
“We have jobs that will take 20 minutes and then there are others that could take up to an hour,” said Hoskin.
"We are always moving,” said Hoskin. “At the end of the day we ask each other, how many miles have we traveled today?”
With the numerous jobs that need to be done at various shops throughout MDMC, it takes a well rounded individual to know what they are doing without supervision, explained Castaneda.
In addition to operating the mobile cart, Hoskin and Castaneda work in the main shop.
“A lot of the guys in the shop have had formal training,” said Daniel Peterson, welding shop supervisor. We develop our welders’ skills and certify them, Peterson added.
With a trade school background, Hoskin began working as a welder for MDMC in 2005. Although he had a basic welding background, his fellow welders mentored him and showed him different techniques he could use. Now, Hoskin uses a variety of techniques to accomplish the mission.
The men that work in the welding shop put their absolute best in everything they do because each member of the shop has a military member in their family or knows someone serving in the armed forces. This means the welders take great pride in what they do, and they know it could mean saving a life, explained Castaneda.
“There are people out there with sons and daughters in Afghanistan, which makes me work ten times harder,” added Castaneda.
The welders on the installation make sure each vehicle is free of cracks and immaculate, which makes the welding shop an essential component of MDMC and an imperative element in ensuring the safety of our military servicemen and women serving abroad.