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NEWS | March 24, 2023

3647th provides maintenance support to JMRC in Germany

By Mike Vrabel | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

Virginia National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Blackstone-based 3647th Maintenance Company, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group provided support to the Joint Multinational Readiness Center during an exercise March 4 - 18, 2023, at Hohenfels Training Area in Hohenfels, Germany. 

During the rotation, 50 Soldiers with the 3647th performed service and maintenance in support of the JMRC maintenance facility and 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, which provides opposing forces to units training at JMRC. The unit worked on an assortment of vehicles and equipment during their two weeks there. According to unit leadership, while the work wasn’t new to the maintainers, the new location provided a different challenge. 

“Daily work included wheeled vehicle, generator, small arms, and electronic equipment services and repairs in addition to supply support activities and metal welding and fabrication,” said 1st Lt. Clay Rice, the 3647th’s executive officer. “Most training exercises involve the unit conducting maintenance on its own or battalion equipment at Fort Barfoot or familiar locations. During this exercise, the unit moved to Hohenfels, Germany, an unfamiliar location, and attached to an active duty maintenance shop and unit to complete maintenance.”

In addition to the change of scenery, integrating with active duty forces also forced the unit to adapt its operations. 

“The unit had to assimilate into the maintenance process conducted on active duty, which is different from the process conducted in the National Guard,” said Rice. “The unit also had to operate in a foreign country with limited support from organic units. Through strong interpersonal tact and adaptability, the unit was able to function in a different environment with a different process and accomplish its mission.”

Despite the multitude of challenges, the 3647th’s maintainers excelled during their two weeks in Germany, completing more than 140 services and 35 repairs to vehicles, weapons and generators. 

“The unit performed well given the many adverse variables presented during the mission,” said Rice. “They persevered through many challenges including limited transportation around post, working in unfamiliar locations, and working with unfamiliar units.”

That ability to adapt to the new environment and new processes will only benefit the unit and the Soldiers, many of whom had never been outside of the United States, Rice explained. 

“Soldiers that aren't a wheeled vehicle mechanic by trade were able to cross train on wheeled vehicle mechanic tasks,” he said. “The unit also learned how to operate independently and assimilate into an unfamiliar unit and training area. Learning to operate OCONUS and with different units will be a crucial skill that will be needed during potential future OCONUS missions.”

Another 50 Soldiers assigned to the 3647th are scheduled to head back to Germany for another JMRC rotation later in 2023. 

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