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NEWS | July 10, 2016

Fort Pickett maintenance site wins 2015 Army Award for Maintenance Excellence

By Cotton Puryear | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

The Virginia National Guard’s Fort Pickett-based Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site has been selected for a 2015 Army Award for Maintenance Excellence in the Army National Guard Table of Distribution and Allowance Category, according to announcement made July 6, 2016.

“Our MATES winning the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence is huge in the Army sustainment community,” said Col. Michael Swanson, director of logistics for the Virginia National Guard. “They were recognized by a Department of the Army evaluation team of maintenance experts for organizational maintenance excellence as well as for maintaining a high level of equipment readiness during very tough fiscal times. By winning this award, our Virginia MATES displayed that they are at the top performing level of all organizational maintenance shops around the Army. They truly deserve this national recognition as a true reflection of their hard work and excellent maintenance support to their customers.”

More than 100 personnel assigned to the MATES provide maintenance support for 112 units and more than 500 combat vehicles and other equipment positioned at Fort Pickett including M1A1 tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, howitzers and a variety of other tracked and wheeled vehicles. In addition to Virginia National Guard vehicles, MATES personnel maintain equipment assigned to the West Virginia and Pennsylvania Army National Guard that is drawn when units from those states come to Fort Pickett for training. In addition to vehicle maintenance shops, MATES also contains supply areas and a variety of repair shops including vehicle painting, body work, communications equipment and small arms.

According to their official web site, the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence award winner displays an expertise and professionalism in performing their tasks. Each unit is evaluated on their effectiveness in ensuring that Soldier competency is maintained, assessments of each unit in the categories of attitude and effective leadership are rated with a benchmark based on those of past winners and the tenets of exceptional maintenance processes that were exhibited are validated and ranked.

The mission of the AAME is to improve and sustain readiness, provide positive incentives for extraordinary maintenance efforts, improve efficiency and reduce waste, encourage innovative use of existing management tools, recognize outstanding maintenance accomplishments and initiatives, encourage competition and provide a structure for recognize of units at all levels.

Phase I of the evaluation is a written submission with a narrative packet that is evaluated by a Regional board. There are seven regions in the National Guard. The top three TDA submissions from each region are submitted to the NGB Board. This panel narrows the field down to the top three finalist from the National Guard. These finalist are submitted to the Department of Army (DA) board which consist of a 12-member panel to determine semi-finalists and award points based on effective use of maintenance resources, maintenance management and training, innovative management accomplishments, resource management, safety, quality control programs, personnel quality of life programs, self-help, recognition programs and community projects.

In Phase II, on-site teams evaluate the semi-finalists on readiness, maintenance management, maintenance training, leadership and innovative execution and unit book verification. The combination of points from these two phases at the DA level determine the overall winner.

“The innovative maintenance processes and variety of support our Soldiers provide allowed the MATES to compete with the very best maintenance facilities in Phase I, and it was the outstanding attention to detail and performance of the employees during the site visit that brought the MATES to the top,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Stanley G. Reekes, Jr., assistant MATES superintendent. “The MATES organization and four MATES employees received coins from inspectors for the overall and individual performance, and the supervisors and staff were recognized at the out briefing for excellent work.”

The Army Award for Maintenance Excellence was established in 1982 by the Department of the Army to recognize exceptional accomplishment in Maintenance and provide added incentive to the competitive programs of Major Army Commands. Active TOE, Army National Guard TOE, Army Reserve TOE, DOL’s, and TDA units compete separately.

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