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Photo Information

Melvin Williams, mechanic, Marine Corps Logistics Command, checks the fluid levels on a vehicle recently while performing the level A preservation process aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany. This is one step in an extensive process to help prevent deterioration of vehicles stored outside.

Photo by Joycelyn Biggs

Operation preservation: Protecting equipment from deterioration

24 Nov 2015 | Joycelyn Biggs Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Some military vehicles are stored aboard the base for as long as a year outside, according to Paul Williams, branch head, Marine Corps Logistics Command, located aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.

To ensure those vehicles remain serviceable, an intensive preservation process is performed.

The level A preservation process can take two to four hours to complete on one vehicle. Once complete, the equipment is prepared to combat the deterioration of the asset, Freddie Grant, heavy mobile equipment repairer, LOGCOM, said.

Although the process is very technical and includes a litany of steps, Grant revealed he remembers each one.

“After you have done it so many times, it just becomes second nature,” he said. “We have got what we call the ‘bible’ with all the processes in it, but it is basically used when someone new comes in and needs a little help to remember.”

Each step is imperative to the preservation of the vehicle. Filling tires to 10 pounds over the suggested tire pressure, for example, is to ensure the tires don’t go completely flat from sitting outside for a long period of time.

“If the tires were at the correct tire pressure, they would go flat and would rot on the bottom,” Melvin Williams, mechanic, LOGCOM, said. “We would rather inflate a tire than replace one.”

Some additional steps taken to preserve the vehicle to the level A standard include spraying rust treatment to neutralize rust, lubricating all the hinges, releasing belt tension, checking the antifreeze level, spraying the dip stick, covering certain exposed areas with protective tape, removing windshield wipers, all the fluids and the battery, according to Melvin Williams.

Once those and many additional steps have been performed, two processing tags are attached to the vehicle, one under the hood and one inside the vehicle to indicate what has been done to the equipment.

“I put this tag on the (inside) windshield to make sure it is seen when someone gets in here, Melvin Williams said. “When somebody gets into this vehicle, they need to know what we have done to it.”

The next person entering the vehicle may know how much has been done to preserve it, but people passing by that vehicle on the base may not.

“People have no idea what all it takes to maintain this equipment and keep it stored,” Paul Williams said. “It really can be mind boggling, but these guys are great. They are the best of the best in doing this.”

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany