Caterpillar Defense provided specialized training to 504th Military Intelligence Brigade maintenance Soldiers on Fort Hood from Aug. 26-30.
John Galvan, an independent Caterpillar Defense contractor, developed a system of training for all services, providing a better understanding of engine electronics.
“What I am out here to teach is what they haven’t been taught in any school. I ask this all the time, ‘Did you learn this at Leonard Wood or your trade school?,’” Galvan said. “I teach basic electronic engines.”
The basics apply to numerous Army and military vehicles.
“You must have a basic understanding of how electronic things work these days,” he said. “I teach 101. I will start with a multi-meter or a basic tool.”
Galvan introduced the maintenance support device version three. The Soldiers have the special tools to prevent complete breakdowns, he said. The MSD V3 hooks up to the vehicle engine. Soldiers are able to find specific faults with a vehicle with just a click of a button. If the vehicle is running with low oil, has plugged up filters, is overheating or has wrong parts, the computer will identify these issues.
Sgt. Omar Gutierrez with 163rd Military Intelligence Battalion was in the maintenance bay using the MSD V3 while working. He said he was introduced to the MSD V3 during his military occupational specialty training, but not the same way he is now. He said he has been learning a lot about the troubleshooting process.
Galvan said people can physically look at a line of vehicles in the motor pool, do a simple maintenance check and say ‘good to go.’ In reality, the truck has a bad sensor and has been this way for over 300 hours.
“This machine or truck can go anywhere in the world,” Galvan said. “You are the Army, you can get deployed. You want to make sure the tires are full of air. I want to know how the engine is doing. We don’t want to go on a convoy and five miles down the road the thing breaks down; because this thing has been putting around the motor pool for two years and falls on its face.”
Galvan pulled several vehicles from the line and had the Soldiers work on them. Several Soldiers were able to identify faults immediately, such as faulty sensors or the wrong computer installed on a truck.
Gutierrez said “I can be better at troubleshooting by knowing exactly what is wrong, so things get fixed faster.”