FORT MCCOY, Wis. –
The students in the first Fiscal Year 22’s Logistic Sustainment Training Power Generation class were the first to learn the theory of generators and extensive details on how each piece of equipment of a generator works at the 88th Readiness Division-operated Draw Yard here Feb. 26-March 3, 2022.
Brant Amble, the LST instructor, said his intention in this session was for the students to learn these two aspects of generators besides only troubleshooting them as in his previous class last summer. The class has been taught since 2019.
He said in the latter lesson plan he described as operator orientated, the students did a hands-on component review, traced the schematics and learned how to troubleshoot a “broken” generator.
“That only gives you a small part,” said Amble. “If you break one thing, that’s just one part of the circle.”
Knowledge of generators will come full circle after this class for Sgt. Red Cuyugan, assigned to the 345th Field Hospital, 332nd Medical Brigade, 3rd Medical Command, 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support), Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Fla., and a military technician with the Area Maintenance Support Activity-44, NAS Jacksonville. He said his prior knowledge of generators, only included services like oil changes.
He said in this class he learned the locations of each component, how they work and what the purpose was for each one. It did not take much for him to get excited during the class. When he found a relay the size of a miniature candy bar and pulled it out and held it between his thumbs and fingers, he said excitedly, “This is the first time I have held a relay.”
He was assisted by his teammate, Staff Sgt. Chris Reichert, assigned to 469th Engineer Company, 416th Engineer Command, based in Dodgeville, Wis., and a military technician with the AMSA-139, Madison, Wis. The students were broken up into two- and three-man teams.
Reichert, who is proficient with electricity and generators, said he was glad that the class was taught in a way that all the students were starting from “square one.” “So that way, everybody understands,” he said. “People may not know as much as other individuals.”
Brandon Johnson, a Department of Army Civilian heavy mobile repair inspector with the AMSA-164, Lexington, Ky., admitted that mastering electricity has been his weakness. “So, I jumped at the opportunity to take this class,” said Johnson, a former Reserve staff sergeant wheeled vehicle mechanic.
For two days, the students learned the theory of how each individual system on the different generators are supposed to operate, and how they work together to make the generator run, how to trace these components on schematics and how to troubleshoot them. There were three generators, a three-kilowatt, a five-kilowatt and a 15-kilowatt. The latter could be used to provide enough power to run a small home.
Amble said these theories tell the students what may be wrong with a generator quickly. He continued by saying if students don’t learn the basics, how are they going to be able to tackle more advanced problems?
The students had to “tackle” determining why the 5-kilowatt and 15-kilowatt generators were “broken” as the final test.
As Amble said, “Everybody is here to collaborate and get better at maintenance.”
Sgt. Justin Meidinger, 452nd Ordnance Company, 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Aberdeen, S.D., and a military technician with the AMSA- 108-Branch Maintenance Activity-1 in Aberdeen, said his biggest takeaway was that a generator’s Technical Manual (TM) wiring diagrams are the most valuable component. “If you have the wiring diagrams but not the TM, you can still troubleshoot almost every issue that you come across,” he said.