September 19, 2013 --
A team of 10 civilian-Marines and two active-duty Marines from Maintenance Center Albany, now Marine Depot Maintenance Command, set out in April 2008 on a proof-of-principle experiment to see if a civilian maintenance team could provide the necessary preventive maintenance assistance to Marine Corps Reserves sites.
The purpose of the experiment was to help improve the reserves’ site’s readiness level and enable the reservists to be better prepared for mission objectives, according to Marine Forces Reserves’ G4 standards.
“This program has provided the much needed support to our Marine Forces Reserves while most of their resources were directly supporting the war efforts abroad,” Sal DeMichael, manager, Forward Branch, MDMC, said. “We have been able to not only assist in preventive maintenance and corrective maintenance but (also to) offer to each Marine training as we move from site to site.
“We have to admit we thoroughly enjoy being able to work side by side with our Marines doing more and more each and every day,” DeMichael said.
The Marine Corps Logistics Command Mobile Maintenance Team made visits to reserve units in the Southeastern U.S.
Many of these units did not have the time or the personnel available to do the necessary preventive maintenance that the vehicles required, he said.
“By providing the manpower to complete the preventive maintenance work on the unit’s vehicles, the LMMT was able to give the reservists more time to focus on their ground training, physical fitness standards and administrative functions during their monthly drills,” DeMichael said. “The mission to elevate readiness for the Marine Forces Reserves was accomplished. It has been five years since the first LMMT team completed the proof-of-principle experiment.”
The LMMT program has proven to be an added-value program and has grown from one team to seven, Bobbie Sherman, supervisor, Forward Branch, MDMC, said.
The program is comprised of three LMMT teams, three small arms repair teams and a technical assist team.
The LMMT teams assist with maintenance of ground combat equipment and evaluate Marine Forces Reserves units for administrative and technical readiness.
The SmART team inspects, maintains and repairs most of the weapons systems used by Marine Corps units. The team also ensures weapons needed to perform the mission are in good working condition, Sherman said.
The TAT, which leads the LMMT teams to the reserve units, inspects the vehicles and provides the LMMT teams with maintenance information on what needs to be performed, Sherman said.
These teams have traveled to every state within the U.S. servicing each reserve site every 12-18 months, DeMichael said.
“They played a major role in knocking out preventive maintenance (tasks) that I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish,” Gunnery Sgt. Quavis Shuler, Headquarters Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, said about the LMMT East team after the team served vehicle at his reserve unit. “Being at a reserve station with so many other duties makes it very hard to focus on one. Having the team here, turning and burning, was a huge burden off me.”
Since 2008, LMMT teams traveled more than 250,000 miles and completed more than 11,000 preventive maintenance items and 1,100 corrective maintenance items, Sherman said.
The SmART teams began work in 2009 and have traveled more than 200,000 miles, completing more than 120,000 preventive maintenance items and 33,000 corrective maintenance items, Sherman added.
The LMMT teams have also assisted the Division Equipment Allowance Pool in repairing Marine Forces Reserves high-mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles and seven-ton training equipment to technical manual standards, Sherman said.
The Marine Forces Reserves have a yearly summit to discuss the present and future requirements, including funding, for the LMMT/SmART program. The high quality of work provided by the teams, along with the numerous praises from the reserve units, have led to the continued renewal of the LMMT program.