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All PM great and small.

We all know about preventive maintenance--performing checks and services on equipment, finding, fixing or reporting small problems before they become major headaches. Every time you replace a dirty air filter, or clean a rifle bolt and bore, or inspect SINCGARS connectors and cables, you're doing PM. You're making sure a vehicle rolls, a rifle fires, and a radio communicates.

It's only natural that the most attention, time and sweat is focused on PM for major systems: trucks, tanks, helicopters, missiles, small arms, commo and construction equipment.

But there's another side to PM, one we tend to overlook--preventive maintenance for troop support equipment, the small gear we're apt to neglect.

It makes no difference if it's tents, BDUs, ALICE, helmets, cots, first aid kits, flashlights, water cans or a hundred other common items. They all support you and your mission on the battlefield. If this gear suffers from lack of PM, you and your mission suffer as well.

So, next time you think about preventive maintenance, think small. Think troop support. Remember to wash ALICE and replace worn or broken parts. Change the air filter and the in-tank fuel filter in a modern burner unit. Inventory a first aid kit and replace items that have passed their expiration dates. Clean and dry the inside of a water can so bacteria don't breed and foul the water. While you're at it, order extra batteries and bulbs for flashlights.
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Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:PS, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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