CAMP KOREAN VILLAGE, Iraq --
Seven Marines have become the foundation of vehicle maintenance for a battalion and other units in western al-Anbar province.
The seven mechanics with Motor Transportation Platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5 have supported more than 350 vehicles from the battalion and other units in the area since the beginning of their deployment.
“Our mission is to ensure more reliable vehicles and to take care of every discrepancy on them,” said Gunnery Sgt. Stephen G. Gogulsky, the maintenance chief for Motor-T Platoon. “Without the knowledge that we have in our platoon, we wouldn’t be in the shape we are today.”
The mechanics have been working strenuous days, responding to more than 500 work orders for vehicles all over the province. Every day, the Marines operate on the vehicles with malfunctions, which range from blown radiators to cracked rear seals.
“I take pride in what I do because it feels good to support the Marines,” said Lance Cpl. Larry J. Howard, a mechanic from Lexington, Ky., with Motor-T. “It gets tiresome, but it’s rewarding because I know that everybody is in a (vehicle) that is safer because of our maintenance.”
In addition to maintaining 2nd LAR Bn.’s vehicles, the seven Marines also assist other units, such as Police Transition Teams and Civil Affairs. It’s been a long, hard-working deployment for the mechanics, but according to them, it has been worth it.
“It feels good to fix something and know whatever was wrong with the vehicle is (good) now,” said Cpl. Stephen A. Miller, 21, a mechanic from Grand Forks, N.D., with Motor-T. “I’ve learned a lot like replacing springs and fixing axles, and I look to use the lessons in the future.”
“I have the best mechanics I’ve worked with in the last 18 years of my career,” said Gogulsky, 39, from Somerset County, N.J. “They have a sense of self-accomplishment because each unit who comes through our area utilizes us for our skill.”