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Keeping Ellsworth moving

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Just about everyone has experienced vehicle trouble, whether a drained battery or faulty wire, making it difficult to meet our daily obligations. At Ellsworth, similar frustrations, magnified several times over, are assessed and taken care of by skillful technicians from the 28th Logisitics Readiness Squadron.

With base personnel and operations always on the go, Airmen from the Vehicle Maintenance shop are trained and equipped to keep Air Force vehicles and engine powered equipment working, ultimately safeguarding the success of Ellsworth's mission.

Vehicle maintenance technicians perform a variety of tasks -- from routine scheduled maintenance and jump starting dead batteries to fixing brakes and rebuilding engines - while also providing mobile maintenance, ensuring serviceable vehicles are readily available for the wing's mission.

"We provide quality maintenance in a timely manner," said Senior Airman William Evans, 28th LRS vehicle maintenance customer service technician. "If we don't then we hold up the mission."

In addition to his primary duties as a vehicle maintenance technician, Evans also provides mobile maintenance to base organizations with vehicle issues.

"The difference between what I do and what the majority of my co-workers do is that I go out to wherever the vehicle has broken down and fix it on-site," said Evans.
He added that a major part of his job is having the skills and ability to troubleshoot a problem.

"Many times I get a call saying a vehicle won't start and that's all I know before I go out there," said Evans. "So I have to be prepared to fix any issues the vehicle may be having."

According to Evans, he and his fellow vehicle maintenance technicians take their responsibility seriously, knowing that if a loading car out at the munitions squadron cannot move, then the bombs will not get loaded and won't be dropped on target.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Bugg, 28th LRS vehicle maintenance customer service NCO in charge, added that the services the vehicle operations shop provides help avoid costly repairs and prevent major problems to mission readiness.

"We're relied upon to keep our military vehicles ... [operational] at all times," said Bugg. "It is easy to take for granted the continual operation of your work vehicle but once it breaks down it can have a major effect on overall base operations ... We make sure we are on top of our game to keep our vehicles moving and get the mission done."