Soldiers of the 188th Brigade Support Battalion, 18th Field Artillery Brigade, found solutions to continue to maintain the 18th FA Bde. at a high-level of readiness through partnership with the Army Reserve.
Maintenance experts from 188th BSB partnered with Soldiers of the 758th Ordnance Company, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command of Whitehall, Ohio, and the 659th Support Maintenance Company, 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command of Fort Bragg in a maintenance stability training exercise, Oct. 6 to 16.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Fatima A. Nettles, the brigade electronic missile maintenance technician suggested the idea to sustainment leaders after learning that Army Reserve sustainers were willing to assist active-duty units at Fort Bragg with maintenance and logistics support.
According to Nettles, the plan was to maximize the Reserve unit’s expertise to perform schedule services during the battalion’s Red Cycle — the unit’s designated time to focus efforts on supporting installation activities.
“The Soldiers of the 758th Ordnance Company exceeded their goal,” said Nettles. “The stability training event was very advantageous as we transferred over to Global Combat Support System-Army.”
GCSS-Army is currently replacing Army sustainment information systems throughout the active Army, National Guard and Reserve components.
“Maintenance concerns were brought to light during our transfer to the new system and we were able to address them with the aid of the Reservists,” Nettles added.
Nettles invited warrant officers from the 659th SM Co. to train Reservists on processing logistic work orders, and enhance their understanding of generator services. The Reservists also learned how to properly conduct weapon services. Additionally, the 659th Communications-Electronics section provided mentorship to the unit’s communication experts.
“The Reserves integrated with the active-duty component to ensure wrenches continued to turn and services were completed during the unit’s Red Cycle,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Russell Ward of the 758th Ordnance Co.
This year, Spc. Martell Lowery performed maintenance services at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin and Germany. The light-wheeled mechanic’s team worked on heavy mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle; while another team serviced heavy expanded mobility tactical trucks.
“My goal is to ensure my Soldiers receive cross training and ensure services were conducted,” said Lowery. “For me, working with the HMMWV was a refresher course.”
The 758th Ordnance Co.’s maintenance control officer, 1st Lt. Diane Norris, said information exchange between active-duty component and the Reserve unit was beneficial.
“We were essentially picking each other’s brains and helping each other out,” said Norris. “For the Reservists, they understand that when they are at drill, the focus is on maintenance, but here they understand that active duty does more than just maintenance.”
Nettles said the partnership between the 758th Ordnance Co. will continue. The 175th Ordnance Company out of South Carolina will also collaborate with the 188th BSB in the future. The unit was scheduled to attend the exercise, but was hampered by recent flooding in South Carolina.