‘Echo Company’ Soldiers maintain AUAB air defenses

By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

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Al Udeid Air Base is home to more than just Airmen and aircraft.

U.S. Army soldiers from Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery regiment, 11th ADA Brigade also call Al Udeid home, providing support to the 1-43rd’s automotive, communications, and ground support equipment for U.S. Central Command’s “Patriot Air Defense” capability.

“Echo Company is the logistical, maintenance and supply company that provides field level maintenance support to the 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jazmin Guevara, 1-43rd ADA executive officer. “From a logistical perspective, our Soldiers’ ability to effectively do their jobs directly affects the battalion’s ability to conduct their air defense mission.”

Guevara said Echo company’s maintainers tirelessly monitor the status of their ADA systems, and provide rapid maintenance and repair when necessary.

“The Patriot system repairers make up our intermediate support element, responsible for ensuring that all the major end items of the Patriot missile system are ready to fire at a moment’s notice,” said Guevara. “Daily they conduct courtesy calls, during which they check on the current operating status of the Patriot operating sites. The ISE’s mission is unique because they must be ready to respond 24 hours a day.”

Echo Company’s Soldiers also provide conventional maintenance on the vehicles, communications equipment and electronics needed to fulfill their mission requirements. These assets can include forklifts, High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, Light Medium Tactical Vehicles, air conditioning units and generators.

U.S. Army Spc. Shanikka Smith, 1-43rd ADA utilities equipment repairer, said the combined experiences and efforts of every Soldier in Echo Company makes the unit better as a whole.

“Everybody has their own part but everyone’s capable of doing different types of mechanical work,” Smith said. “Without mechanics, equipment wouldn’t be up and running smoothly how it is now. Everybody plays a big role.”

According to Guevara, Echo Company’s united effort to ensure warfighting equipment is well maintained and well supplied is essential to supporting military efforts the USCENTCOM area of responsibility.

“In every major conflict or war fought by the United States, the ability to provide sustained logistics has been one of the largest force multipliers,” said Guevara. “Echo Maintenance Company is the bridge between system operations and logistics. There is a special sense of pride and commitment gained through maintaining the battalion’s equipment readiness. This translates to a unique group of Soldiers who grow close together and work hand in hand to guarantee the mission is a success.” 


Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing website.