News: 1st MLG Marines train in Barstow
Story by Pfc. Garrett White
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE BARSTOW, Calif. - Marines from Ordinance Maintenance Platoon, 13th Combat Logistics Company, 15th Combat Logistics Regiment, 1st Marine Corps Logistics Group, stationed at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, came to Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., for on the job training, Jan. 6.
“The Marines are training on disassembly and assembly of LAV (light armored vehicle) and AAV (assault amphibious vehicle) motors,” said Sgt. Shane Makary, AAV mechanic with OM Plt.
While working with the civilian mechanics in Production Plant Barstow, Marine Depot Maintenance Command’s engine shop, the Marines are getting hands-on experience with rebuilding individual engine components, said Makary. Over the past week and a half, the Marines have had the opportunity to completely disassemble an engine down to the block, and then rebuild it back to operational use.
OM Plt. Marines at Twentynine Palms typically cover first to fourth echelon repairs, explained Makary. This means they cover repairs that range from simply changing a tire, to removing and replacing a faulty starter in an engine.
Fifth echelon repairs are typically done by facilities like PPB, who have the equipment and staff capable of disassembling and repairing any part on any vehicle, Makary added.
Prior to this training, Marines with the platoon lacked the hands-on experience with rebuilding LAV and AAV engines, said Staff Sgt. Matthew Syma, ordinance vehicle maintenance section chief for the platoon. PPB is one of the few places Marines can get firsthand experience with full engine disassembly and repair.
“This training is going to bring back our capability to rebuild engines,” said Syma. “Now we have Marines (who) have the experience … thanks to the staff here.”
Working with the civilian mechanics at PPB has allowed the Marines to broaden their skillset and mindset when dealing with engine repairs, added Makary.
This knowledge will allow the Marines to troubleshoot engine problems faster and identify what they are capable of fixing, and what needs to be sent to PPB for more work, Makary explained. This will reduce the time the vehicle has to stay out of operational use, and the amount of tax payers money used to transport the vehicle to PPB and back to Twentynine Palms.
“Having the knowledge of what’s deeper into the motor, (Marines) can use their troubleshooting skills more effectively,” Makary added. “(The training) has been extremely educational … even at the intermediate level; we wouldn’t (have) see some of the things we have out here.”
It’s important for the Marines working on these engines to know them inside and out said Ray Gutierrez, engine shop work leader here. Marine’s lives depend on these vehicles working properly.
“Things need to be done by the book,” Gutierrez explained. “There are no shortcuts … when that engine is put back into service it has to be 100 percent.”
The Marines aren’t the only ones benefiting from the training, explained Gutierrez.
“It’s good for the younger mechanics to work with the Marines,” said Gutierrez. “It lets them see who they’re supporting, and why the work they do is important.”
Overall, the training has been a success, said Syma.
“Thanks to the training here we can better support units at Twentyine Palms, and get damaged equipment back into service quicker,” Syma concluded.