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Specialized tools should be a priority for movement.

I am an active-duty Army aviation major, and I spent the majority of my past 5 years managing aviation maintenance in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I just wanted to point out a more recent lesson learned from my time as an aviation unit maintenance (AVUM) company commander at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan that I thought would be applicable across the maintenance spectrum.

All maintainers of ground or aviation equipment faces the never-ending ordeal of keeping their specialized tools and test equipment within TMDE (test, measurement, and diagnostic equipment) standards and available at multiple locations during split-based operations. I would highly encourage any maintenance commander or NCO [noncommissioned officer] facing an upcoming deployment to take a careful look at which tools arc the hardest to replace and will be needed on the ground immediately upon the unit's arrival.

These specialized tools should be made a priority for air movement into theater instead of being moved by ship and then ground. This is especially true for any deployment to Afghanistan, where all your MILVANs [military-owned demountable containers] will be transported using contractors via line haul through Pakistan.

I personally saw 5 of my 20 MILVANs pilfered en-route, to the tune of almost a half-million dollars in losses. One of these MILVANs also had critical test equipment needed for CH-47 maintenance and took almost a full month to replace.

Don't make my mistake! Get your high value and critical tools moved by air so they are available on day 1.



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Author:Ream, Ted; Leavenworth, Fort
Publication:Army Sustainment
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:May 1, 2011
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