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Watercraft maintainers host first ‘Maintenance Rodeo’

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 558th Transportation Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) adjust the governor and fuel injector rack on a Detroit Diesel 12V-71 watercraft engine during the company’s first “Maintenance Rodeo” competition at Third Port, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Sept. 19, 2017.

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 558th Transportation Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) adjust the governor and fuel injector rack on a Detroit Diesel 12V-71 watercraft engine during the company’s first “Maintenance Rodeo” competition at Third Port, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Sept. 19, 2017. The two-stroke diesel engine was used as one station during the two-day competition, where Soldiers had the opportunity to work in six different areas as a team. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Wilmarys Roman Rivera)

U.S. Army Soldiers from the 558th Transportation Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) conduct welding operations and fabricate an outdoor bench during the company’s first “Maintenance Rodeo” competition at Third Port, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Sept. 19, 2017.

U.S. Army Soldiers from the 558th Transportation Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) conduct welding operations and fabricate an outdoor bench during the company’s first “Maintenance Rodeo” competition at Third Port, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Sept. 19, 2017. The teams, who were made up of Soldiers of different specialties, had two hours to complete the bench to achieve full credit. (U.S. Army photo Spc. Wilmarys Roman Rivera)

U.S. Army Soldiers from the 558th Transportation Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) perform vehicle recovery in two High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles during the company’s first “Maintenance Rodeo” competition at Third Port, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Sept. 19, 2017.

U.S. Army Soldiers from the 558th Transportation Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) perform vehicle recovery in two High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles during the company’s first “Maintenance Rodeo” competition at Third Port, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Sept. 19, 2017. The cross-training event teamed Soldiers from different specialties together, allowing them to work together to accomplish maintenance tasks in a timed environment. (U.S. Army photo Spc. Wilmarys Roman Rivera)

U.S. Army Soldiers from 558th Transportation Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) perform vehicle recovery actions in two Light Medium Tactical Vehicles during the company’s first “Maintenance Rodeo” competition at Third Port, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Sept. 19, 2017.

U.S. Army Soldiers from 558th Transportation Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) perform vehicle recovery actions in two Light Medium Tactical Vehicles during the company’s first “Maintenance Rodeo” competition at Third Port, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Sept. 19, 2017. The cross-training event teamed Soldiers from different specialties together, allowing them to work together to accomplish maintenance tasks in a timed environment. (U.S. Army photo Spc. Wilmarys Roman Rivera)

U.S. Army Pfc. Myca Smith, 558th Transportation Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) human resource specialist, conducts preventive maintenance checks and services on a vehicle during the company’s first “Maintenance Rodeo” competition at Third Port, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Sept. 19, 2017.

U.S. Army Pfc. Myca Smith, 558th Transportation Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) human resource specialist, conducts preventive maintenance checks and services on a vehicle during the company’s first “Maintenance Rodeo” competition at Third Port, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Sept. 19, 2017. Checking oil level is one of the procedures to follow when performing vehicle PMCS. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Wilmarys Roman Rivera)

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 558th Transportation Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) disassemble and reassemble weapons during the company’s first “Maintenance Rodeo” competition at Third Port, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Sept. 19, 2017.

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 558th Transportation Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) disassemble and reassemble weapons during the company’s first “Maintenance Rodeo” competition at Third Port, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Sept. 19, 2017. During this portion of the competition, Soldiers were given two minutes to perform specific tasks. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Wilmarys Roman Rivera)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --

The 558th Transportation Company, 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) hosted its first “Maintenance Rodeo” competition at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Sept. 19-20.

The timed competition comprised of six stations covering the company’s various tasks, including engine maintenance, radio antenna assembly, welding and fabrication, weapons maintenance, vehicle recovery, and vehicle preventative checks and maintenance.

 As watercraft maintainers, the company’s Soldiers possess a variety of Military Occupational Specialties. Teams of Soldiers from different specialties worked together at each station in order to broaden their maintenance knowledge.

“We wanted to have a culminating event to cross-train our Soldiers,” said U.S. Army Capt. Lavina Jackson, 558th Trans. Co. commander. “We wanted to mix ‘back-to-basics’ skills with what each Soldier might do on daily basis. Depending on their MOS, they’ve never done some of these tasks before. We hope this exposure gives them a better idea of Army maintenance as a whole.”

The company organized familiarization and training sessions prior to the competition to better prepare the Soldiers for tasks outside of their specialties. During the rodeo, instructors were available to assist the teams as needed.

As a 558th Trans. Co. watercraft engineer, Spc. Zane Reynolds doesn’t handle a welding torch on a daily basis, so learning how to fabricate a steel bench was his favorite part of the competition.

“We have really good instructors, so it made it easier,” said Reynolds. “Oftentimes, other jobs correspond to what you do, so it gives a different perspective to do my job even better. I think dedicating training time this way gives Soldiers specific hands-on training with things they might not otherwise learn.”

Although this was the company’s first competitive event, the sentiment of both Soldiers and unit leadership suggests the “Maintenance Rodeo” may be back for another round in the future to showcase what an Army maintenance company can bring to the fight.

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