Repair Team Keeps Robots on the Road

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait, Oct. 4, 2011 — It’s every boy’s dream, tinkering with robots.

Soldiers in the Joint Robotics Repair Detachment at Camp Arifjan get to do that daily. They are members of an elite program trained specifically to repair robots that are used for route clearance and Explosive Ordnance Disposal.

Staff Sgt. Xavier Smith, robot repair technician, 402nd Army Field Support Brigade, signals to the control operator to maneuver the TALON robot that he has just repaired at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The Joint Robotics Repair Detachment is a highly specialized team that repairs and tests a series of robotic platforms used by Soldiers in Iraq. (Photo by Pamela Proper)

Staff Sgt. Xavier Smith, robot repair technician, 402nd Army Field Support Brigade, signals to the control operator to maneuver the TALON robot that he has just repaired at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The Joint Robotics Repair Detachment is a highly specialized team that repairs and tests a series of robotic platforms used by Soldiers in Iraq. (Photo by Pamela Proper)

Staff Sgt. Xavier Smith, 34, is a robot repair technician assigned to the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade, and it’s evident he loves his job, repairing robotic platforms fielded in Iraq.

“Everything about the job is fascinating, especially knowing that robots can and do save lives,” said Smith.

“My team and I fix everything from the communication issues to replacing entire electronic assemblies,” said Smith. ”

Robots are extremely useful battle buddies because they limit a Soldier’s interaction with suspected improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, vehicle borne improvised explosive devices, or VBIEDs, and Homemade Explosives, said Smith.

Smith is so impressed with the training he and fellow Reserve Soldiers received that he encourages others to check it out as another military career option.

“The training that we receive at Selfridge, Michigan, is phenomenal. Basically, we learn how to operate, troubleshoot and repair all robotic platforms currently in Operation New Dawn/Operation Enduring Freedom,” said Smith.

The Department of Defense program is managed by the Robotic Joint System Project Office and is staffed by Marine Corps and Army Reserve personnel. Smith said Soldiers interested in the program should visit the web site, www.rsjpo.army.mil.

This article first appeared on http://wwww.army.mil.

 

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About Carla Voorhees

Carla Voorhees has always been interested in science, from the time she grew string beans under varying conditions for the science fair (3rd grade) to the time she took every math and science class she could during high school. As her path during college and beyond took her somewhat away from the hard sciences, she is thrilled to be a part of the Armed With Science team. Carla holds a B.S. in Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2007), and an M.B.A. in Design Strategy from the California College of the Arts (2010). She works as a Web Strategist at DOD Public Web.
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  • omid

    i am very glad that there is robot such as talon because it save soldiers in war fields