News: Mexican military leaders tour Fort Hood logistics facilities
Story by Staff Sgt. Jason Thompson
FORT HOOD, Texas – Senior logisticians with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) hosted an information exchange visit by representatives of the Mexican Secretariat of National Defense as they toured several Fort Hood units during a Secretariat of National Defense site visit, Aug. 14-15, focusing on the U.S. Army’s logistics and maintenance processes.
The visit was part of a partner nation security cooperation initiative by the North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command to build strong relationships between the partner nations.
“We feel it’s important to build our partnership with our partner nations, and visits such as this help to facilitate that partnership,” said Brig. Gen. Timothy McKeithen, the director of logistics and engineering for NORAD and USNORTHCOM. “By showing our partners how we approach maintenance and logistics within our command, it provides a transparency while we’re working together with our partner militaries.”
It was part of a three-stop trip through central Texas, which also included visits to Randolph Air Force Base and Naval Air Station Fort Worth. The purpose of the trip was to observe and exchange ideas on ground vehicle and aviation maintenance and logistics processes.
During their trip, the delegation, led by Mexican Air Force Brig. Gen. Javier Cuevas Gomez, deputy chief of staff for administration on the General Staff of the Mexican Air Force, met with Brig. Gen Clark LeMasters, commander of the 13 SC(E), to discuss Army maintenance and logistics concepts and processes.
Cuevas said he and his fellow officers appreciated the tour and found it to be informative and helpful.
“Logistics are important for the functioning of the armed forces,” said Cuevas. “We wanted to come here and view [the U.S. Army’s] systems so that we could become better and more effective.”
Cuevas said one of his biggest take-aways was the information he gained on the computer systems the U.S. Army uses, such as the Standard Army Maintenance System – Enhanced.
“It’s great that all aspects of the logistics process from supply to the maintenance can be tracked through the connecting platforms,” he explained.
Following an in-brief at the 13th SC(E), they toured the ground vehicle maintenance operations of the 115th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. In the afternoon, they toured the Directorate of Logistics Support Maintenance Facility, which highlighted their maintenance and engine rebuilding and testing capabilities.
“We want to remain transparent,” continued McKeithen. “We walked them through our motor pools so they could see our systems and our processes in action. They can then take in the information that we’ve provided and use that to implement into their systems as they need to.”
The following day, the contingent toured the aviation maintenance facilities of the 615th Aviation Support Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cav. Div., where they viewed helicopter maintenance processes and also toured the medical evacuation hangar for 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st ACB. The Mexican military leaders also toured the Supply Support Activities and observed how the parts resupply system operates. The tour ended with a brief walkthrough of the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, where they viewed a number of medical technical capabilities.
“By observing the maintenance and supply teams at the various sites, the delegation was able to follow the process, from identification of a fault, through the requisition process, to final repair, and return of the equipment to full capability,” explained Lt. Col. Stephen Costable, the mobility chief for the Support Operations section of 13th SC(E).
“USNORTHCOM is the lead for this partnership, he said. “Our role in the visit was to support their efforts by showing the SEDENA delegation first-hand how U.S. Army maintenance and logistics systems operate at the unit level, and also show how they are linked to the national level logistics system.”