CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - It is 2:00 a.m. and the Intelligence Electronic Warfare Maintenance section at 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, is ready to spark into action.
"We're on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week," explains Warrant Officer Fernando Aguirre, of Los Angeles, Calif.
Aguirre spearheads the Intelligence Electronic Warfare Maintenance section, overseeing day-to-day operations, providing guidance to commanders, and mentoring Soldiers. The twelve Soldiers in the Intelligence Electronic Warfare Maintenance section are officially responsible for maintaining all intelligence and communications security equipment used by the Military Intelligence Company assigned to the 4th Special Troops Battalion of 4th Bde., 1st Armd. Div.
"Unofficially though, we also fix everything from coffee pots and iPods to satellite dishes," said Aguirre.
Sgt. Jonathan Culpepper, of Atlanta, Ga., is the Intelligence Electronic Warfare Maintenance section's shop foreman. Culpepper spent over eleven months training for his current job.
"I'm responsible for all maintenance activities," said Culpepper. "This is probably one of the most mentally challenging military occupational specialties."
The section also has two cryptological equipment repair technicians. Spc. Brent Leverette, of Augusta, Ga., is one of them.
"I'm responsible for fixing all the [communications security] equipment for the whole brigade combat team," said Leverette.
This means he is also responsible for fixing equipment that is used at the more than 15 outlying bases in Dhi Qar, Maysan, and Muthanna provinces, where "Highlander" Soldiers advise and assist Iraqi security forces.
They also work with civilian field service representatives to ensure equipment is fixed or replaced in a timely manner.
"If we can't fix it, we send the equipment to the [field service representatives]," said Aguirre. "They usually send us a brand new piece of equipment. It doesn't matter how long it takes to fix the equipment. We've worked for thirty-six hours straight before."
"We want to be, and are, the premier electronics maintenance shop in the brigade," said Aguirre.
On call at 2 a.m. is just another day at the office for these Soldiers.