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Centralized Repairs Reduce Soldier Readiness

There has been a trend toward centralizing the organizational maintenance of Reserve component (RC) equipment. This concept eases one of the many burdens imposed on unit commanders and allows them to concentrate on mission-essential task list training.

My concern is that operators and crew members will not know how to maintain their equipment properly if organizational-level maintenance is performed by an external activity.

I experienced this situation during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm when some Soldiers in mobilizing RC units were unable to perform organizational maintenance on their equipment. This was because those tasks were performed at the maneuver area training equipment site (MATES) and equipment concentration site (ECS) during nonmobilization periods. This presented a problem when MATES and ECS personnel were not part of the mobilizing unit.

We had to institute organizational maintenance training for these units, which became an additional requirement imposed on them in the limited time available at the mobilization site.

Centralized organizational maintenance reduces some of the readiness problems facing the RC. However, this does not relieve a commander of the responsibility of training Soldiers to perform organizational maintenance on their equipment.

LTC James T. Delisi
USA (Ret.)

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