JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
The Airmen of the 628th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance flight ensure Joint Base Charleston’s fleet of over 200 vehicles is ready to roll.
From bucket trucks of the 628th Civil Engineer Squadron to the U-30 tow tractors of the 437th Maintenance Group, the vehicles that transport Team Charleston’s mobility Airmen have to undergo routine maintenance and sometimes major repair.
“Vehicle maintenance touches almost every part of the mission here at Joint base Charleston,” said Staff Sgt. Seok Sturtevant, a vehicle mechanic assigned to the 628th LRS. “We maintain vehicles for most of the back-shops and the flightline.”
Airmen at the vehicle maintenance shop are responsible for knowing how all the various systems – such as electrical, drivetrain and even hydraulic systems – work in each vehicle they service.
“Our maintainers have to know a lot,” said Shawn Davis, heavy equipment maintenance supervisor at the 628th LRS vehicle maintenance shop. “They could work on a Humvee in the morning and then an aircraft de-icer in the afternoon. They know all of the systems, from hydraulic to electrical, on those vehicles.”
According to Sturtevant, he learns something new on almost every project he undertakes.
“My favorite part of the job is learning how different vehicles work and fixing new problems that I haven’t seen before,” he said. “I didn’t come in with much of a mechanical background so as I work on more vehicles, I find the work fascinating. My favorite vehicle to work on here at [JB] Charleston is a U-30 tow tractor. It’s a very heavy vehicle that pulls the C-17s here and is important to the mission.”
Although the C-17 Globemaster III is the main airframe here at JB Charleston, the vehicles on the ground and the Airmen that maintain them enable the aircraft to carry out its mission.
“The Air Force is a very vehicle-dependent service, especially here at an AMC Base,” said Davis. “Without our services, it is extremely hard to get planes off the ground. Our team is as awesome as it is efficient.”