Sgt. Michael K. Selvage, 10th Sustainment Brigade Journalist
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Mechanics assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 10th Special Troops Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, have been honored with the responsibility of maintaining vehicles assigned to transport fallen heroes’ remains from the mortuary affairs collection point here to the airfield for their flight home.
These mechanics not only transport the fallen heroes, they also clean and ensure the trucks are maintained the operational at all times.
There are seven humvees that make up the fleet of pristine trucks designated for ramp ceremony duty. The fallen hero trucks are used for ceremonial purposes only.
“It’s not just a single-Soldier effort,” said Spc. Harley Trayner, a power-generation equipment repairer assigned to HHC, 10th STB. “It takes the entire motor pool to ensure all of the trucks are always ready to roll.”
Soldiers working in the motor pool don’t take the task of maintaining the trucks lightly.
“It’s a lot just to make sure the fallen heroes receive the respect they deserve,” and Sgt. Joshua Skinkle, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to HHC, 10th STB.
Some Soldiers working on the trucks don’t have much experience with humvees, but thanks to the leadership and guidance provided by the noncommissioned officers working in the motor pool, they were cross-trained and have broadened their mechanical expertise.
Trucks used for transporting the fallen heroes are cleaned every day. On days of ramp ceremonies, they are cleaned up to three times. The trucks are thoroughly cleaned with the pressure washer, windows washed and tires cleaned with a commercial product.
“These are the cleanest seven vehicles in Afghanistan,” said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Rhodes, motor sergeant assigned to HHC, 10th STB. “We’re proud of that.”