Sunday, October 21, 2007

FRS Forward Repair System

Saturday morning our motor sergeant put me in charge of the most incredible toolbox this side of a NASCAR garage. The FRS is a self-contained, 18-foot long repair center moved around the battlefield by a five-axle all-terrain tractor-trailer. Dropped off the trailer and leveled on the ground next to any vehicle including an M-1 tank, the FRS has every conceivable tool necessary to fix anything on tracks or wheels. At one end is a 200-amp diesel generator and a 190 psi compressor system. At the other end is a 10,000-pound capacity crane with a 20-foot reach. In the middle are MIG, Arc and gas welders and cutting systems along with five 7-drawer tool cabinets. Inside are 1/2-inch and 3/4 drive air wrenches and sockets and hundreds of hand tools. It also has a full set of curtains, workbenches on a heating system. It comes with a 40-hour training course!

The irony is, I am the only guy assigned to the Echo company motor pool who is not a mechanic. Almost everyone else would like to have the FRS in their garage (although it is bigger than most garages). But while I wait to go to a chemical weapons course, I will definitely have something useful to do.

Every Week in Cold War West Germany, Gas Mask Drills

Every week during my three years in Cold War West Germany,  the Tankers of 1-70th Armor had a MOPP drill. Gene Pierce, Abel Lopez and...