News: 6th Iraqi Army Division logistics leader bears witness to importance of diagnostics
By Capt. Kevin Bentz
Multi-National Division – Baghdad
AL MUTHANA, Iraq – A team of mechanics from the 299th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, conducted a training visit, Nov. 20, to the 6th Iraqi Army Division to provide a class on proper maintenance procedures for IA vehicles.
During this visit, Col. Saleem, the Iraqi army 6th Division's logistics leader, observed first hand as the maintenance team demonstrated the importance of proper maintenance diagnostic equipment.
Saleem's vehicle was being prepared to be sent to the Taji Maintenance Facility for a new transmission. Staff Sgt. David Strong, one of 299th BSB's maintenance instructors, used the vehicle to perform hands-on training and a demonstration of the capabilities of the transmission diagnostic system.
The Iraqi soldiers quickly hooked the diagnostic system up to the vehicle and were able to run a check on the transmission. Strong helped with the translation of the codes the diagnostic system displayed.
"The Iraqi mechanics are knowledgeable in how to use the diagnostic equipment," Strong said. "The problem is the quantity of diagnostic systems and understanding the codes they produce."
Once the codes were translated, the Iraqi mechanics quickly worked to test for potential faulty parts. They identified and confirmed one of the parts was faulty and could be replaced. This precluded sending the vehicle to the facility for an entirely new transmission.
Currently, the process of obtaining a new transmission for a humvee takes between 4-12 months for the parts to be ordered and installed before the vehicle is returned from the maintenance facility.
On this day however, the part required for Saleem's vehicle was available and quickly replaced.
"[With] a quick five minute class and a little guidance, the Iraqi mechanics were able to fix the vehicle," said Strong.
Saleem said he was very impressed with the time that was saved by properly knowing how to diagnose the problem at the lowest level possible. He also noted that using diagnostic equipment and properly identifying faults can save large amounts of money by just replacing a small part and not an entire major item like a transmission.
Saleem thanked the maintenance instructors for their demonstration and commented on how he will have all his brigades order the diagnostic equipment.
"I have every confidence that the Iraqi army will continue to improve their capabilities as they begin to utilize the digital systems, along with their already proven skill and work ethic," said 1st Lt. Jim Getts, an Iraqi security force liaison, with the 299th BSB, who added that he is very enthused about the progress that can be made by the Iraqi army.
The training on the digital diagnostic systems will ultimately contribute to the Iraqi army being self-reliant and able to maintain its vehicles independent from coalition forces.