Saturday, July 12, 2008

Generator Maintenance

200 Days and a Wake Up until we deploy.

Today is the first of two days of our July drill. After formation we all went to the motor pool. This month, I drove like everyone else. I could have walked, but I wanted to go to the laundry at the east end of the Post and get a camo backpack and an Army t-shirt for my nephew Argus. He has an Isreali Defense Force t-shirt he got from his step-mom, so I thought a US Army t-shirt would give him some more variety in his wardrobe. I'll walk tomorrow.

Actually the walking is a strange thing. Because of the security gate getting to the airfield, it is a 8-kilometer drive from headquarters to the motor pool but only a 2-kilometer walk. I drove on my first weekend, but after that, I walked to the motor pool. Generally I arrive at the motor pool before the guys who stop at the PX and after the those who drive straight there. When I ride my bicycle I beat everybody. Everybody either thinks they need their car or wants their car at the motor pool, so no one walks with me. I walk or ride. Everybody else drives.

After formation, my squad leader said he had to do paperwork all day so I am in charge of generator maintenance. We have three generators that need to be check out and run under load to make sure they are OK. And I got two men to do the work with me. Three of us, three generators--no sweat. Except that I am also the Tool Bitch for the whole maintenance company so I was signing our torque wrenches and 3-inch sockets and air guns and welding equipment for everyone else in the company. And my big, fancy 70-hp diesel generator needed So I had to find a fuel truck driver willing to drive his fuel rig up to the ground-mounted tool/crane rig I call home. (FRS, see previous post).

And then one of the mechanics was gone for four hours for a change of Sergeant's Major ceremony. And the other guy had to help with trailer maintenance. So by mid-afternoon, I pulled all three of the 3kw and 5kw generators out of the maintenance building with a forklift, started them and tested them. Two work. One works but needs a new battery. The important thing for me is that things get done when there is no one aroudn to do them. I wanted to get a license for the all-terrain forklift, but everyone is busy and there is always someone around who has a license and is happy to drive it. Today, I drove the forklift and learned all its controls because I had to and could let the motor officer know after the fact that I can operate the vehicle no problem. So now I can get licensed without all the usual inertia.

Who Fights Our Wars? CSM Donald C. Cubbison, 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division

In the fall of 1977, 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division got a new Command Sergeant's Major.  Donald C. Cubbison, veteran of the Vietna...