MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C --
This period allows the 26th MEU to perform general maintenance, preventative maintenance checks and services, modifications and calibrations on unit equipment to become current on all maintenance requirements in preparation for an upcoming deployment.
“Due to the operational tempo, it’s difficult to fit in required maintenance on our equipment,” said 1st Lt. Joshua W. McDaniel, the maintenance management officer of the 26th MEU. “Now, we have a window of time to conduct the maintenance to get us to where we need to be in terms of equipment readiness.”
According to guidance from Gen. Robert B. Neller, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, readiness is not just about equipment and maintenance, but also the quality and challenging nature of training through the mental, spiritual, and physical readiness of Marines.
“The short amount of time and urgency that we have to get [maintenance] done definitely prepares us for deployment,” said Sgt. Darrius C. Arnold, an automotive maintenance technician with Combat Logistics Battalion 26. “The day-to-day productivity doesn’t necessarily change during the stand-down, but the other sections tend to bring in equipment during this time to fix any problem which adds to the workload.”
The 26th MEU is currently undergoing its pre-deployment training program; however, the unit recently took part in Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) during relief efforts for areas affected by hurricanes.
“Because of DSCA and ongoing training requirements, not a lot of attention has been given to maintenance due to providing disaster relief to Key West, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said McDaniel. “We’ve been really committed to that. Now we have the opportunity to focus on required maintenance.”
Prior to deployment, a MEU undergoes an intensive six-month training program, focusing on its mission-essential task list and interoperability with the joint and special operations forces. The 26th MEU is currently preparing for Composite Training Unit Exercise, its final pre-deployment training exercise prior to deployment at sea.