CAMP EDWARDS, Mass. -- Thousands of troops train at Camp Edwards and rely on vehicles supplied by the Unit Training Equipment Site, which is the busiest during the month of June, when most units conduct their annual training.
In June 2009, the UTES at Camp Edwards will supply seven units on annual training with vehicles for training. The UTES maintains vehicles for 54 different units, including high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles, wreckers, loaders and buses. They also have generators and weapons that can be reserved ranging from an M-2 .50 caliber machine gun with vehicle mount to the Beretta M-9 service pistol.
The UTES has a large classroom available that can facilitate up to 100 people for a variety of training and the maintenance support bays on the floor are also available for units.
The UTES has become much busier since the Fall River Field Maintenance Shop closed. “There are also new forward operating bases and Military Operations in Urban Terrain sites at Camp Edwards that have led to an increase in vehicle requests recently,” said Master Sgt. Gary Jewell, a Dennis resident and surface maintenance supervisor at UTES.
Technicians at the UTES have access to a library of technical manuals on every vehicle. However, they spend most of their time maintaining vehicles and working with units to provide small upgrades based on modified work orders.
“We can handle routine upgrades, but for most we use private contractors. They can have the upgrades halfway done by the time our technicians have had time to become acquainted with the new equipment. There are also routine missions taking vehicles back and forth from Camp Edwards to the Combined Support Maintenance Shop at Devens,” said Jewell.
All UTES technicians must complete Occupational Safety and Health Administration certifications once a year. Other certifications and schools are done on an individual basis.
“Their main mission is maintaining the vehicles and supporting the Regional Training Institute and Tactical Training Base,” said Sgt. Steven Fernandes, a Wareham resident and surface maintenance repairer at UTES.
“Training would be much harder without these vehicles,” said Staff Sgt. Ken Gelormini of the 181st Engineers, a Salem, N.H. resident. “They can use excavators to move building materials or to collect debris while they work. They’re safer than using ladders.”
Units can request access to any of the equipment at the UTES with a “UTES Form 3” and 90 days notice. The training site will provide any necessary maintenance or support of the vehicles and can show Soldiers how to check them properly for problems.
For more information on the UTES, contact their office at 508-968-5837.