MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 returned to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point to conduct preventative maintenance and recovery following a two-week field exercise at Marine Corps Outlying Field Camp Davis, Aug. 19.
Field training and operational use causes normal wear and tear with equipment. Preventative maintenance helps identify damage and defects before a piece of equipment is damaged beyond repair, according to Staff Sgt. James Williams, the maintenance control chief with MWSS-271.
“Preventative maintenance is what we do to make sure the equipment is maintained and works efficiently,” said Williams.
The mission of MWSS-271 is to provide all essential aviation ground support requirements for an Aviation Combat Element and all supporting or attached elements of a Marine Air Control Group, according to Williams. Part of the mission is providing power to the command and ensuring that everything is up and running so squadrons can operate as needed.
“In order to support that mission and keep the squadron in a state of readiness, we use preventative maintenance,” said Williams. “It is essential throughout the entire Marine Corps because anything could happen.”
The recovery and preventative maintenance process involves gear accountability, inspections and inventory, said Williams. Preventative maintenance ensures vital equipment, gear and machinery remains serviceable up to and beyond its life expectancy, which saves the Marine Corps money in a fiscally constrained environment.
“If any of the gear is not operating properly or is missing, we use this time to find out what happened, why did it happen and how can we prevent it from happening again in the future,” said Williams.
Keeping accountability and inspecting equipment and gear regularly is crucial to squadron readiness and mission accomplishment, according to Lance Cpl. Timothy Floyd, an engineer equipment repair specialist with MWSS-271.
Completing field training and conducting preventative maintenance keeps the squadron operational and allows it to continue supporting the mission of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, said Floyd.
“If you don’t perform preventative maintenance, the mission can’t be accomplished — it’s as simple as that,” said Floyd. “This is preparing us for what we may have to do while deployed. We have to get it right here, on a small scale, to be prepared for when we have to use these tools on a larger scale when we deploy.”