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Mechanics Keep Troops Rolling in Afghanistan

By Army Pfc. Elizabeth Raney
Special to American Forces Press Service

NANGAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan, July 9, 2009 – The eastern Afghanistan terrain is demanding, not only on soldiers, but also on their equipment. Keeping vehicles running is essential to mission success.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Pfc. Jonathan M. Hall works on a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle at Forward Operating Base Fenty in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, July 2, 2009. U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Elizabeth Raney

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

That’s the job of Army Pfc. Jonathan M. Hall, a native of Elizabethtown, Ky., and a light-wheeled vehicle mechanic who serves with Task Force Mountain Warrior here with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Special Troops Battalion, out of Fort Carson, Colo.

Hall said he was influenced by his father and love of his country to join the Army in September 2007, and that he enjoys his job because he has a great impact on the outcome of the mission.

“We make vehicles mission-capable,” Hall said proudly, speaking on behalf of his team.

Hall said he and the other mechanics get to work on many different types of vehicles such as mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, Humvees and 5-ton trucks.

“We can fix basically anything with wheels,” he said.

In addition to fixing the vehicles that are brought into his workstation, Hall said, he goes out for recovery missions when a vehicle needs repair.

“On a recovery mission, we drive out to the vehicle, find a way to hook up to it, and then bring it back to [a forward operating base],” he explained. “I’ve been on four recovery missions since I’ve been in [Afghanistan]. One vehicle was hit by an [improvised explosive device], and the other three were rollovers.”

Hall said his job is vital to the mission, because he gets the soldiers back into the fight as quickly as possible.

(Army Pfc. Elizabeth Raney serves with the 4th Infantry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team public affairs office.)

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