Reservists take the wrench, aid active-duty maintainers

  • Published
  • By Jeremy Larlee
  • 512th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Vehicle maintainers from the 512th Logistics Readiness Squadron pitched in to start a multi-step Humvee maintenance operation during the January Unit Training Assembly, Jan 6-7, 2024.

“We have partnered up with the active-duty side, and they asked us to perform an engine replacement on a Humvee, said Master Sgt. Jimmy Henshaw, 512th LRS vehicle maintenance chief. “We decided to take the task, because it provides great experience and training for our personnel.”

Leadership from the 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron said assistance from the reservists is helping shore up temporary manning shortages on the active-duty side. The Humvee is assigned to the 436th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal flight.

“Having their assistance is very helpful,” said Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Moran, 436th LRS vehicle maintenance flight chief. “We’re currently severely undermanned due to deployments and have been waiting on assigning a technician to do this engine swap for at least a month or two due to the complexity of the job. We reached out to our reserve counterparts about a month ago, and they were eager to help.”

Moran said a Humvee engine replacement is a very in-depth and time-consuming maintenance operation.

“This is a complex task,” he said.  “If I had two experienced mechanics available, I would say it would take them about a week to a week and a half to complete if they didn’t have any issues.  The Reserve is only able to assist on their UTA weekends; but in the first weekend, they were able to get the entire engine out of the vehicle, so they’re making great time.”

Staff Sgt. Alex Michshenko, 512th LRS vehicle craftsman, said he was excited to take on the task.

“I’m having a great time today working on this,” he said. “It’s rare that we get an opportunity to be this hands-on. In the constraints of working Saturday and Sunday, we’re usually not able to work on such an expansive project.”

Henshaw explained the Liberty Wing vehicle maintainers normally only get experience on such complicated tasks during deployments and annual tours.

“It is a phenomenal opportunity to get to do this,” he said.  “It’s hard to get this type of experience and will help us be a more cohesive and better trained unit.”

The Reserve vehicle maintainers plan to finish installing and testing the new engine during the February UTA.