By Gretel Sharpee
Joint Task Force Guantanamo Public Affairs
GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba - When walking into the 525th Military Police Battalion maintenance shop you might have to look under a vehicle to find someone to talk to, but what would you expect? For the 10 Soldiers who work there, being responsible for keeping the MP Soldiers in vehicles and not on their feet is a mission they take seriously.
"They really need these vehicles," said Spc. Angel Torres, an all-wheel mechanic from the 162nd Field Artillery Battalion, Puerto Rico National Guard. "If I don't complete this vehicle they can't complete their mission."
The 525th MP Battalion is responsible for the force protection of the Joint Detention Group within the Joint Task Force. They provide security in and around the detainee camps through continuous operations.
"Our Soldiers switch out and work in shifts but one of our vehicles could be running 24 hours a day for up to a week," said Sgt. 1st Class Jorge Moreira, battalion motor sergeant for the 525th.
In order to ensure the vehicles are always ready and capable of running for such long periods of time, preventative maintenance checks are done on a regular basis.
"When a HUMVEE comes in, we start with the regular maintenance and by doing that we can see if anything else is wrong," said Spc. Jonathon Vasquez, all wheel mechanic with the 162nd. "Just the regular maintenance takes up to three days with two guys working on it, but if we run into something it could take longer."
The shop is capable of three levels of maintenance on M-1025 High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle and Light Medium Tactical Vehicle, operator maintenance, organizational level maintenance and third-shop level maintenance.
Even though it may take three full days to complete the preventative maintenance on one HMMWV, the Soldiers in the maintenance shop are willing to do the job.
"This is what I do at home too," said Vasquez. "I like being a mechanic and this job is important - important to do right too."