Vehicle maintenance gets wheels back on Holloman roads

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Heather Stanton
  • 49th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
From the government vehicles driven every day by many Team Holloman members to the heavy machinery on wheels used to lift and push equipment around, the 50 Airmen and civilians of the 49th Logistics Readiness Squadron Vehicle Maintenance flight fix it all. 

The vehicle maintenance flight fixes everything driven by the base, said Senior Airman Francisco Macatol, 49 LRS. 

"The mission of the vehicle maintenance flight is to provide a safe, serviceable fleet to the 49th Fighter Wing and all personnel assigned here," said Tech. Sgt. Leroy Brooks, 49 LRS. 

The vehicle maintenance flight will do minor preventive maintenance such as topping off the oil in-between oil changes to major work like replacing parts and corrosion control. 

"Corrosion control is painting where there is chipped paint or rust to make the vehicle look better and to not rust through," said Mr. Steve Nordquist, 49 LRS. 

Even though the vehicle maintenance flight will fix it when it breaks, the vehicle operator is first in the maintenance line. 

"The maintenance starts with the operators filling out Form 1800 correctly," said Sergeant Brooks. "The Form 1800 is the Operator Inspector Checklist and needs to be filled out before the vehicle is driven. It is the key to preventive maintenance." 

An average day in vehicle maintenance depends on the section, but starts in customer service. 

"For customer service, Monday through Wednesday is hectic with paperwork and many vehicles to fix because we are the first line the vehicle comes to," said Airman Macatol. "Wednesday through Friday, we can either be slow or busy with making sure of what is wrong with incoming vehicles." 

The vehicles and equipment that need more work than the customer service section can provide go to Sergeant Brooks' section where they troubleshoot the problem and get it fixed. 

"We always stay busy," said Sergeant Brooks. "We have a meeting in the morning to let everyone know what needs to get done and then we get the wheels back on the road." 

After each section finishes off their work, the vehicles and equipment head to Mr. Nordquist's section to be finished off. 

"I have the coolest job here," he said. "We have a paint shop, welding shop, machine shop, fabricator shop and a stencil shop. We get to mess with everything in the compound." 

Mr. Nordquist has two other people in his section, so he is able to supervise them and also get in and get his hands dirty with work, unlike many other supervisors such as Sergeant Brooks. 

"I don't have time to get on the floor much," he said. "But I enjoy it a lot when I do." 

The vehicle maintenance flight can fix any problem the smallest or biggest government vehicle may have in order to get the wheels of Holloman spinning on the roads again.