Team keeps Iraq calibrated

Story and photos by Sgt. Kimberly Johnson
196th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq — Maintenance companies use a variety of tools to fix broken equipment. One unit here is responsible for keeping those maintenance companies ready and prepared to restore equipment by ensuring their tools are working properly. They maintain the maintainers.

The 632nd Maintenance Company, 110th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 224th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), repairs all the test measure diagnostic equipment for customers in southern Iraq.

“The test measure diagnostic equipment has a Department of the Army standard,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Samuel Voight, an electrical systems maintenance technician and officer-in-charge of the TMDE lab with the 632nd Maint. Co. and a Jacksonville, N.C., native. “What we do is calibrate that tester. We make sure it meets the Department of the Army standard so the equipment stays safe and stays (operable) for the customer.”

There are many different types of TMDE equipment the seven-man team repairs, including torque wrenches service members use to work on vehicles and other tools used to calibrate weapons systems.

“We repair anything that has the capability to test, measure or diagnose. Anything the maintenance teams use to maintain the units (in Iraq) and support the Warfighters,” said Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Perr, senior team chief of the TMDE lab the 632nd Maint. Co. and a Belleville, Ill., native.

On a weekly basis, the TMDE lab processes more than 110 pieces of equipment, averaging about a two-to three-day cycle, Perr said. 

When a piece of equipment comes into the shop, it is processed through the direct control area where Perr makes the item available for the technicians to calibrate, he said.  

“The Soldiers have to run a test on the equipment to verify it is functioning like it’s supposed to and passes its self-test,” Perr said. “If the equipment is found not to pass its self-test or does not pass the performance checks, it has to be repaired. Once repaired, calibration is performed as the final step on any piece of equipment going out of here to verify it is accurate enough to meet the customer’s need.”

As with any mission, there are complications and challenges the TMDE team faces. 

“The challenges for us are the heat and the dust,” Perr said. “It affects the wear and tear on our generators and our (air conditioning) units. We have to stay in a stable environment. It’s a lab environment so everything has to be kept at a certain temperature.”

Even though there are challenges, the Soldiers enjoy what they do and work hard, learning new things every day, Voight said.

“They all have a variety of capabilities,” Perr said. “That’s important because there is a wide variety of test equipment that comes through (the TMDE lab).”

The 632nd has been in theater more than a month and the TMDE lab is working to ensure they are available for their customers’ needs.

“There was about a one-month lapse from when the previous unit left until we arrived, so we’ve been busy getting things set back up, making sure customers know we are here so we can provide support we need to provide to maintain their equipment,” Voight said.

 

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Spc. Aaron Cravens, a test measure diagnostic equipment technician with the 632nd Maintenance Company, 110th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 224th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Bellevue, Wash., native, hooks up testing equipment to calibrate a Pitot and Static System, used to gauge airspeed in knots, June 15 at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kimberly Johnson)

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Pfc. Marc Trevino, a radio and communications security repair technician with the 632nd Maintenance Company, 110th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 224th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Keller, Texas, native, works on a piece of equipment in the test measure diagnostic equipment lab June 15 at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kimberly Johnson)

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Spc. Spencer Jones (top, left)), a test measure diagnostic equipment technician with the 632nd Maintenance Company, 110th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 224th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Greenville, S.C., native and Pfc. Marc Trevino, a radio and communications security repair technician with the 632nd Maint. Co. and a Keller, Texas, native, repair equipment in the TMDE lab at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kimberly Johnson)