AL QUWEIRA, Jordan --
Marines assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 26 and Battalion Landing Team 3/2, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted bilateral vehicle maintenance with the Jordanian Armed Forces during Exercise Eager Lion 2013 in Al Quweira, Jordan, June 13.
“We helped the Jordanians fix their M88A1,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan Griffith, ordnance maintenance chief with CLB-26, from Idaho Falls, Idaho. “We helped replace two support rollers and we [worked together to] fix their damaged tracks. They had a damaged track block from an accident that occurred between their [M88A1] and one of their Challengers, but [together] we were able to get it operational [again].”
Initially the broken track block was going to just be replaced with a new one. After closer observations, the Marines at the site realized that they, alongside their Jordanian counterparts, could just tighten the tracks to increase the mobility of the vehicle.
Fixing this vehicle enhanced the capabilities of the JAF by increasing the abilities of their armored platoons.
“This vehicle can actually move now,” said Griffith. “They can now use it to tow, conduct winching operations, and take it out to support their Challengers.”
The knowledge the gunnery sergeant received years ago proved to be useful during this joint operation. Griffith said that when he was a junior Marine, even though limited, he received experience working on the M88A1. He said although the two vehicles, M88A1 and M88A2, look very similar, their operating system and evacuation system have few similarities.
Cpl. Joshua D. Knese, a St. Louis, native, and M88A2 Hercules operator assigned to maintenance detachment, Combat Logistics Battalion 26, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said they conducted the bilateral vehicle maintenance because the Jordanians wanted more training and experience on this particular vehicle repair. The knowledge of the two groups of soldiers together provided superior end results.
On top of helping repair their M88A1, the Marines with BLT 3/2, cleaned the V-Packs of the Challengers.
“We used compressed air to clean the V-Packs,” said Lance Cpl. Quinton Spence, M1A1 Abrams main battle tank loader, BLT 3/2. “It keeps dirt and debris out of the engine and prevents damage to the turbines.”
At the end of the day, Griffith test drove the M88A1 to make sure the tracks worked properly and did not affect the steering of the vehicle. He said his Marines were proud to help and hopes the bilateral maintenance event further progresses the already strong bond between the two countries.
Exercise Eager Lion 2013 is a recurring annual exercise designed to strengthen tactical proficiency in critical mission areas, support long-term relationships, and enhance regional security and stability by responding to modern-day security scenarios.