Maintaining a high level of readiness during the COVID-19 outbreak is crucial to the success of the Army’s mission. Company operations such as maintenance, supply and physical readiness training are no fail tasks and can make or break a unit’s overall readiness.
Ensuring mission essential equipment stays in the fight remains key to a unit’s readiness, and those on the front-line of this battle reside in motorpools across military installations around the world.
As operations are curtailed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Staff Sgt. Laine Hoff, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command’s motor sergeant, has his team zeroed in on what they need to accomplish.
“My maintenance team is still focused on installing mission critical parts like engines and transmissions,” Hoff said. “We are still conducting services and making sure the vehicles get driven every week.”
As the senior mechanic and noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the motor pool, Hoff understands why continuing maintenance operations is important.
“Even though there is a pandemic going on, maintenance is essential,” Hoff said. “There will always be missions happening where our vehicles will need to be utilized. Ultimately, we need to be able to fix any issues on the spot so the mission can continue.”
Cpl. Donte Ferguson, human resource specialist, HHC, 13th ESC, has been busy ensuring mission essential vehicle parts are ordered and received so the mechanics can fix equipment deficiencies.
Even though this remains an important aspect of the equipment’s readiness, Ferguson also understands how they must each conduct their daily activities.
“My main focus right now is safety as a first step,” Ferguson said. “I deal with a lot of people and I just try to stay safe, keep my mask on and keep my hands sanitized. We have to incorporate these steps and then work to get the mission done.”
During these unprecedented times, the motorpool family’s work ethic has been second to none and it’s something Hoff has come to expect.
“The Soldiers have continued to step-up,” Hoff expressed. “They not only perform maintenance on our equipment, but also for 49th Transportation Battalion as well.”
What makes their success even more impressive is they continue to succeed despite their small numbers.
“Normally this type of work load is done with a full maintenance platoon, but we are doing it with the minimal manning of seven Soldiers and two NCOs,” Hoff said.
Thanks to their efforts, HHC is able to sustain their maintenance readiness as operations continue during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Hoff appreciates everything his team does.
We have Soldiers like Ferguson and Spc. Javier Long who have been able to execute all tasks asked of them, while still training new Soldiers on maintenance,” Hoff said. “13th ESC and I are lucky to have a crew that is disciplined, eager to learn and well trained. I couldn’t have asked for a better maintenance team.”