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Buried in mud? Black Smiths are on the way for a speedy recovery

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Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 12:00 pm | Updated: 5:09 pm, Wed Aug 15, 2012.

By Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim

1st Cavlry Division public affairs

A dead-lined vehicle is not a good thing for most units, but there’s a group of soldiers in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team’s Service and Recovery shop who make sure every vehicle is expeditiously recovered so it can be sent back out the to the fight.

The shop’s soldiers, who are part of Bravo Company, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, used the time in the field during Black Jack lanes training to make sure everyone in their section knew how to properly recover vehicles at a small patch of training area Aug. 14.

“We’re doing this recovery training so our new personnel can get ready for combat scenarios,” said Sgt. Brett Howard, the shop’s foreman. “We need to show them how to get in and out very quickly … especially when bullets are flying.”

The small section is comprised of welders and light wheeled mechanics. Some of their more experienced soldiers have gone through a formalized course for recovering vehicles, and served as the primary instructors during training.

“We have to integrate all of our jobs,” said Staff Sgt. Thomas Rudick, the shop’s noncommissioned officer-in-charge. “We have to just in case something goes down. It’s good to have everybody out there to do one another’s job so we can do the mission.”

According to Rudick, recovering vehicles is a science. “You always have to keep in mind things such as wench cable snapping, pinch points … getting crushed between vehicles … this is pretty realistic when you get around Fort Hood in November,” he said pointing at the deep puddle of mud.

The soldiers have three different recovery vehicles at their disposal: the M1089A1 LMTV recovery vehicle; the M984E1 HEMTT recovery vehicle; and the M88A2 Hercules. During the training, the soldiers would have to decide which system to use depending upon what type of vehicle was stuck in mud up to its hubs.

“Every situation is going to be different, and it depends on the terrain too,” Spc. Morgan McGough said.

For Pfc. Justin Coley, a metal worker from Mineral Wells, the training was the first time he got a chance to recover vehicles. “I had no idea I’d be doing this; I just expected to weld.”

Coley got a chance to go chest deep in muddy water to attach the chains to a trapped truck.

“I don’t mind getting dirty,” he said. “I’m actually having a lot of fun out here. I’m happy about getting to learn more than just my job.”

That’s the type of section Chief Warrant Officer-2 Andre Dart, an Allied Trades technician heads. He describes his shop’s soldiers as “different” than others. “They do it all; these guys do a lot of work.”

For Coley, who gets dirty every time he trains, he said he knows that working to learn everything he can here at Fort Hood will help him get ready for going overseas.

“In this small section, you don’t want to be left behind,” he said. “It’s a little challenging, but you make the best of it — you have to earn that dollar.”

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