• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 42s

Inside the Gates: Maintenance Co. puts skills, speed to the test at JBER

By Bonney Bowman Photojournalist: Emily Landeen - 8:30 PM April 28, 2017

The U.S. Army has plenty of unsung heroes who keep it mission-ready. Among them are the soldiers of the 98th Support Maintenance Company. They keep all of the Army’s vehicles rolling along year-round in Alaska.

Thursday, they combined training with competition, completing their routine maintenance tasks as fast as they could. They raced against the clock, and each other, to see who could come out on top.

“It lets us challenge our soldiers in a way that we normally can’t,” event organizer 2nd Lt. Christopher Sliva said.

Changing the tire on a Humvee or putting on snow chains are routine tasks for the soldiers of the 98th, but in a combat situation, seconds count, making speed and accuracy important. That’s why they practice and test their skills.

“When you give them the hands-on training, they’re going to take full advantage of it and they’re ready to get down and dirty, in the puddles, whether it be jacking up a vehicle to take a tire off, they’re ready to go,” said Sliva.

Spc. Gino Hontanosas and his team changed the tire on a Humvee as their first event in the contest.

“We are auto, so this is our job. So we should win it,” said Hontanosas. “We got a good group going on, so we’ll be able to take them.”

The previous team competed the task in 10 minutes, 50 seconds — a time Hontanosas wanted to beat. Unfortunately, his team struggled with the jack, which slowed them down. Their final time was 17 minutes, 3 seconds.

“We had to raise it up again and then remove the tire from there so yeah we lost pretty bad,” he said. “Hopefully we do better on these other events.”

It’s all part of the competition, said Sliva.

“If we make mistakes, we learn from it, we pick each other up and we learn from motivation,” he said.

Hontanosas and his group ended up coming second out of four teams competing. The winning team received a trophy, a three-day weekend and of course all-important bragging rights.

Latest Stories

  • News

    People Mover holding public meetings to discuss new bus system

    by Daniella Rivera on Jul 23, 18:06

    Changes to People Mover’s bus route system won’t go into effect until October, but public meetings are happening this week to get riders on board with the transit overhaul. The system will go from having 15 routes to 13 shorter, more direct routes with buses arriving more frequently, route numbers and colors will change, and […]

  • American student arrested in China has been freed, senator says

    by CBS News/Associated Press on Jul 23, 17:27

    BILLINGS, Mont. — Chinese authorities have dropped charges against an American college student who was arrested and detained in the Asian nation a week ago after reportedly injuring a taxi driver who was roughing up his mother in a fare dispute, a U.S. lawmaker said Sunday. Guthrie McLean, a University of Montana senior, was released […]

  • $53M to go to U.S. national park maintenance, infrastructure

    by Associated Press on Jul 23, 17:02

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has announced more than $50 million for maintenance and infrastructure work at national parks. Zinke made the announcement Saturday at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. With him was Colorado U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner. The funding would go to 42 parks in 29 states. The Interior Department says in a release […]

  • Politics

    Initiative to regulate bathrooms likely to appear on ballot

    by Associated Press on Jul 23, 16:45

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A new rule on sex, gender, and bathrooms looks likely to go before Anchorage voters next spring. Alaska Public Media reports a release by the Alaska Family Action Council states supporters submitted nearly 8,500 signatures Thursday to the municipal Clerk’s Office, backing a measure that seeks to regulate bathrooms, locker rooms […]

  • Politics

    Trump tweets frustration with Republicans

    by Associated Press on Jul 23, 16:36

    WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is expressing his frustration with Republicans, saying they “do very little to protect their President.” In a tweet Sunday, Trump says this happens even with “some that were carried over the line on my back.” The president isn’t making clear exactly why he’s upset. But his tweet comes as […]

  • Dramatic video shows Starbucks customer fighting off armed robber

    by CBS News on Jul 23, 16:26

    FRESNO, Calif. — Police in Fresno, California, have released dramatic surveillance footage showing a customer stepping in to prevent an armed robbery at a Starbucks. Authorities said the video shows a hero taking down a man who will soon face many felony charges, CBS affiliate KGPE-TV in Fresno reports. Cregg Jerri, 58, was enjoying his […]

  • Parents arrested for giving newborn daughter meth, heroin, morphine, police say

    by CBS News on Jul 23, 16:03

    SPANISH FORK, Utah — Police said a mother and father were arrested after they gave their newborn daughter drugs on the day she was born, CBS affiliate KUTV in Salt Lake City reports. Colby Glen Wilde, 29, and 26-year-old Lacey Dawn Christenson face drug distribution and child endangerment charges, authorities said. “They administered the drug […]

  • Lifestyle

    John Heard, ‘Home Alone’ actor, dies at 71

    by CBS News on Jul 23, 12:01

    John Heard, the actor best known for his roles in “Home Alone” and “The Sopranos,” has died, the Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed to CBS News. He was 71. Early reports from TMZ said Heard was found dead in his hotel room in Palo Alto, California. Earlier this week, representatives for Heard told TMZ the […]