FORT MCCOY, Wis. –
For the first time, a schematics/electrical class was taught here Jan. 24-27, 2022. Gary Leamons, the logistic sustainment training coordinator/instructor for the Fort McCoy Draw Yard, taught the class three times before at the Fort Riley, Kansas, Equipment Concentration Site 33 and outlining Area Maintenance Support Activity (AMSA) shops. The class was among the LST curriculum.
Leamons pointed out that the students have a variety of electrical backgrounds.
“Some of the students somewhat understand schematics and electrical circuits, while others don't,” he said. “My goal is for all of the students to be proficient in the vehicle electrical system at the end of the course.”
The students had to follow wiring schematics in a several page manual (about the size of a computer monitor). These manuals should give the students the right answers in regards to a problem or fault in a vehicle most of the time.
Once a fault is determined, the students use a digital multimeter to check voltage or volts, current (amps) or resistance (ohms). The next step is to submit the multimeter’s readings into a laptop loaded with Electronic Maintenance System-Next Generation software. Once the readings were submitted, the students would be directed to another test.
For example, in one situation, the students had to remove an electronic control module (ECM) cover from a light-medium tactical vehicle (LMTV). Once, the ECM was uncovered, the students used both positive and negative probes on the multimeter to test continuity between two test points on the ECM to check the ohms.
There were two different situations for the final test. The spare tire and raising and lowering of a LMTV cab’s hydraulics malfunctioned and the transmission light on the vehicle stayed on.
For Sgt. Justin Meidinger, a wheeled vehicle mechanic based at the 452nd Ordnance Company, 561st Regional Support Group, 394th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Aberdeen, South Dakota, and a military technician at the AMSA- 108-Branch Maintenance Activity-1 in Aberdeen, the hydraulics class he took earlier at McCoy assisted him in the test.
He said he learned in the latter class about the schematics of the LMTV and the where the relays and fuses were.
Leamons said the biggest challenge is his class is the students not understanding the troubleshooting steps in the manuals.
“Not all of the steps take them to the problem, he noted. “They sometimes have to think outside the box to figure out the problem.”
U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Chris Reichert, 469th Engineer Company, 389th Engineer Battalion, 372nd Engineer Brigade, 416th Engineer Command based in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, and a military technician based at the AMSA-139, Madison, Wisconsin, liked how the course was broken down step by step.
Reichert, a wheeled vehicle mechanic who has been in the Reserve for 14 years, admitted that he is not proficient in schematics.
“Schematics are hard for me but this course is easy to understand and follow along,” said Reichert.
U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Travis Gantz, a wheeled mechanic in the 316th Psychological Operations Company, 16th Psychological Operations Battalion, 2nd Psychological Operations Group, United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command based at Grissom AFB, Indiana, and a military technician based at the AMSA-139, Madison, Wisconsin, said following the wiring schematics from one page to the next challenged him.
“It is real easy to get lost or end up in the wrong spot when tracing the schematics, leading to difficulty finding the correct component to test,” said Gantz, who has been in the Reserve for 10 years and enrolled in the class to “brush up” on his electrical schematic readings.
Overall, Gantz said the class was taught very well and provided a lot of insight into how sometimes the technical manuals do not give you the right answer, in regards to the problem or fault.