Story by U.S. Army Sgt. Elliot Alagueuzian, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Office.
FORT HOOD (Now designated Fort Cavazos), Texas – 1st Cavalry Division conducted a maintenance walkthrough on Aug. 29 to assess the needs and readiness of units maintenance while also providing any support they would require to accomplish any mission requirements.
“Service is critical because at the end of the day our job as a maintainer is to make sure we’ve got quality and controlled service being done,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Norman May, 1st Cavalry Division senior maintenance technician, as he emphasized the importance of maintaining vehicles and equipment. “That we’re taking care of our troops as they take their piece of equipment out.”
May continued by comparing maintenance in the Army as being the same as changing the oil of your car. In order to keep Army vehicles rolling they must be properly serviced.
In order to be able to maneuver armored vehicles in large scale combat operations, Army equipment must always be taken care of. However, servicing new vehicles can be challenging according to Staff Sgt. Deborah Harrison, 1st Cavalry Division maintenance non-commissioned officer. She said the walkthroughs help the division to disseminate information on how to keep the equipment serviced.
“Here at the division level, we sit down with a lot of the United States Army Tank-Automotive and Armament Command representatives and the guys that fielded and made this equipment,” Harrison said. “We get a lot more background than what some of the junior level Soldiers do, this helps us to share knowledge and build a shared experience of what the equipment is like.”
Since 2018, the Army has evaluated several Armored Brigade Combat Teams and shared the best practices and standards including adding new information to manuals and publications to ensure that it is readily available for Troopers to troubleshoot equipment. Others included Standard Operating Procedures, Supply Support Activities and many more practices which are the cornerstone of good maintenance.
“In the 1st Cavalry Division, we use Sustainment Terrain Walk (STW) program to train and educate leaders on the Army maintenance standard to ensure the standard is clearly understood at the lowest level,” said Lt. Col. Delarius Tarlton, 1st Cavalry Division Director of Sustainment, as he explained how command maintenance is important for units competing for large scale exercises such deployments and unit training. “All of these touchpoints give division leaders an accurate assessment of how their units are conducting maintenance while also providing an opportunity for the subject matter experts to discuss the best practices which will boost unit readiness.”
Col. Chad Chalfont, 1st Cavalry Division deputy commander of support, said he is very passionate about readiness because no matter what missions may arise in the future, STWs will remain critical to maintenance of Army equipment and accomplishment of that mission.
“They help First Team leaders see the challenges and opportunities, resolve issues and reinforce a positive culture for maintenance and supply discipline.” Chalfont said, “Our aim is that at the end of each terrain walk, the unit stands more ready to execute whatever mission they are called upon to do.”
Sustainment is a large part of what has made the First Team America’s premier armored division. It will continue to be that way thanks to the dedication and commitment of the Troopers who maintain their equipment and the leaders who uphold the standards of the 1st Cavalry Division.