Forward-stationed Patriot unit earns top honors from USARPAC

Forward-stationed Patriot unit earns top honors from USARPAC

by Staff Sgt. Heather A. Denby, 35th ADA Public Affairs
Osan Air Base

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea – Maintenance is an essential role in any Army unit’s operations, from Soldier care to equipment readiness, which is why air defenders in South Korea decided to showcase these skills during the 2015 U.S. Army Pacific Army Award for Maintenance Excellence Program competition.

Soldiers of Charlie Battery, 6-52 Air Defense Artillery Battalion, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade were selected as the AAME small unit winner October 30 and will continue on to compete at the Department of the Army level competition slated for early 2016.

The AAME program is an annual competition designed to evaluate unit’s maintenance programs in three categories: small (1 to 100 authorized personnel), medium (101 to 300 authorized personnel), and large 301 or more authorized personnel).

“The evaluation focuses primarily on the success of the unit’s maintenance program, including maintenance management and logistic systems utilization within the constraints of available resources,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Issac Smith, 35th ADA Brigade support operations officer. “Maintenance is a critical piece to readiness for any unit, but it is central to the infrastructure of air defense units operating in the Republic of Korea.”

“We are only as good as our equipment,” Smith said. “Evaluations like these give us the opportunity to showcase a certain level of pride within our organization by maintaining our equipment and ourselves.”

Unit maintenance evaluations take place in two phases. In the first phase, the evaluating command reviews Unit Maintenance Profile packages consisting of mission accomplishments, innovative and effective use of maintenance resources, and quality of life program for the competing unit. In the second phase, the evaluating command’s staff conducts an on-site assessment of each unit’s maintenance operations to validate nomination packets along with all components of the Command Maintenance Discipline Program.

“Maintenance isn’t something we think about when we are doing our job, it’s just part of daily operations,” said Spc. Corey Simm, a Patriot fire control enhanced operator/maintainer assigned to Charlie Battery, 6-52 ADA. “It’s nice to be recognized for our hard work, but at the end of the day if we didn’t have a solid command maintenance program we would be letting the Soldiers of this unit down, we would be letting our command team down and we would be letting our ROK partners down as well.”

Last year, Soldiers of Charlie Battery, 6-52 ADA competed in the 2014 AAME competition at the Eighth Army level earning second place in their respective category.

"It's been a privilege to compete in the AAME two years in a row," said Capt. Kyle Hermanson, Charlie Battery, 6-52 ADA commander. "I have had the opportunity to lead, develop, and challenge these Soldiers to strive for excellence in all we do.”

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