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Minnesota National Guard
834th Aviation Support Battalion vehicle recovery section trains to success

The Headquarters and Supply Company, 834th Aviation Support Battalion convoy to Camp Ripley on June 5 turned out to be a real world training experience for the battalion's vehicle recovery section 1st Lt Jonathan Sry, HSC maintenance platoon leader, commanded the convoy that was on the way to the unit's annual training

During the second half of the convoy, two High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) became disabled, needing the assistance of a retrieval vehicle to get to their final destination One of these vehicles held the convoy commander and his driver Staff Sgt Keith Ericson, the vehicle recovery section squad leader, was able to retrieve their HMMWV immediately

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"When a vehicle broke down it would pull off to the side of the rode where the wrecker would pick it up automatically," Sry said "Ericson saw me on the side of the road"

The recovery vehicle, a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), pulled in front of the disabled HMMWV and they were quickly back on the road

"We were on the side of the road for ten minutes," Ericson said "The longer you're on the side of the road is a safety concern because distracted drivers and lots of people won't avoid you"

Due to the speed and proficiency of the HSC vehicle retrieval team, Sry arrived at the final destination only 15 minutes after the convoy's main body, able to resume his command

Ericson, who led the crew that was responsible for the successful retrieval mission, is fully confident in the skills of all members of his section

"They're all really good on the trucks, they know the trucks and I'd be comfortable sending them anywhere with them," Ericson said "I don't hesitate with any one of them"

In order to keep up skills for these necessary tasks, the HSC vehicle recovery section conducted vehicle retrieval training on a retrieval range in Camp Ripley Training Center on June 8, 2011 The purpose of the training was to practice a retrieval mission they do not frequently perform and have any new Soldiers in the section become familiar with their fellow Soldiers and the task

The training of retrieving a mired vehicle was a success, leaving the section's leaders impressed with their knowledge and professionalism

"If something breaks down, we just go and I can dispatch it to any one of those guys It doesn't matter which one of the wreckers and they just do it," Ericson said "You'll never be left behind, that's for sure"

Story and photos by Sgt Jodi Krause
Unit Public Affairs Representative
Headquarters Support Company 834th Aviation Support Battalion
June 8, 2011




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