By J. Elise Van Pool
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan, Sept. 20, 2011 — Logistics Task Force-4 (LTF-4), part of the 401st Army Field Support Battalion–Kandahar, 401st Army Field Support Brigade, at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, is working with the Marine Corps on a new, one-of-a-kind maintenance program that will keep Marine Corps vehicles in the fight for an additional two years.
Called the Refresh and Refurb program, or R2 for short, the program will take place over three years and LTF-4 will rebuild nine types of vehicles ranging from seven-ton trucks to M88 heavy equipment recovery vehicles. The program expects to rebuild about 750 vehicles in all.
This program is the first of its kind in the history of the Army and Marine Corps. For the first time, the Marines will partner with an Army Material Command tactical unit to do depot-level maintenance in a forward area.
“It’s about improving vehicle readiness for the Marines,” said Lt. Col. Robert Roy, LTF-4 commander. “The vehicles don’t have to be shipped back to CONUS [continental United States] so the warfighter has a bigger pool of vehicles available.”
After careful study of maintenance and supply records, AMC and the Marines identified parts on each vehicle that most commonly need replacement. Then they drafted a statement of work which details the procedure for rebuilding each of the vehicles.
“They are doing as close to a complete overhaul as possible,” Tim Blair, equipment specialist for LTF-4, said. “We are giving it a new lease on life.”
As a result of the high operational tempo and harsh environmental conditions in southern Afghanistan, such as high temperatures and large amounts of blowing sand, vehicles tend to breakdown faster and need a greater level of maintenance. (more…)