MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. -- Everyone knows vehicles are not perfect. And over time, the wear and tear takes its toll and sometimes special attention is required to keep them on road.
The "Roughnecks" of Combat Service Support Detachment 23 did just that. With help from the 6th Marine Corps District Enhanced Marketing Vehicle team, the district's recruiting High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles engine was restored to like-new condition.
Without proper facilities and tools to work on vehicles at the district, support from CSSD-23 was crucial to rebuilding the HMMWV.
And, due to previous driver neglect and inexperience, the vehicle was not properly maintained and led to deterioration, which, in turn, led to more serious problems.
"The drive shaft broke after an event in May and we requested CSSD 23 take a look at it," said Master Sgt. William Hanrahan, EMV Chief. "They agreed to do that and we wanted to help them out with the project."
Teamwork was an important part of completing the mission. The drivers of the EMV team got greasy and dirty along with the mechanics of CSSD 23.
"A complete frame-off restoration was needed," said Staff Sgt. Bryan McGowan, motor transportation chief, CSSD 23. "The (EMV team) helped out with the rebuild and that was a great help."
"The drivers care about the vehicle and that makes a big difference," said Sgt. Eric Dewald, floor chief, CSSD 23. "When preventive maintenance is done, the vehicle experiences less problems."
In addition to helping out with the needed mechanical makeover, the drivers learned something about preventive maintenance.
"They showed us certain things we needed to do to keep this thing running," said Sgt. Julian Blair, EMV driver, 6th MCD.
In addition to having some mechanical problems, the HMMWV was also experiencing some electrical trouble with the stereo.
"The stereo needed some work and we were happy to do it," said Dewald, "We also did paint work in some spots."
Since the vehicle was originally built at CSSD 23, the unit had a special interest in helping the district put it back on road.
"That vehicle was created here two years ago and when it had problems, (6th MCD) contacted Staff Sgt. McGowan for help," said Warrant Officer Scott Danjou, officer in charge, CSSD 23.
Retrieving replacement parts for the HMMWV proved to be a challenge for CSSD 23, since it was originally pieced together from six bone-yarded vehicles. Since the red recruiting tool was, for all intents and purposes, a hybrid, putting it back into commission became an issue.
"We had to add the vehicle into Atlas II +, which is a database for all of the vehicles in use in the Marine Corps," said Danjou. "Without an entry in the system, we wouldn't have been able to get the parts."
Once the vehicle was added to the database, the parts needed to complete the overhaul were ordered and the ball was rolling.
After two weeks of what seemed like endless days and many busted knuckles, the project was complete.
"We had some long days, but we got the job done," said McGowan.
"It is in much better shape and is reliable now," said Dewald. "Now all that is needed is the proper maintenance to keep it going."
"They helped us out a lot," said Sgt. Miles Beasley, EMV driver, 6th MCD. "Without their help, the vehicle would still be unusable."
"Sixth MCD thought of us when they needed help and we try to support whoever we can," said Danjou. "And as a reward, one of the Marines that helped is being allowed to go on the road with the vehicle to help the recruiters.
"It also couldn't hurt to have a motor transportation guy there, just in case," he said jokingly.
"We are trying to give back to the unit for helping us out, so we are going to take one of their Marines to an event with us," said Hanrahan. "This way, they know what an impact they have made."