||04-02-2011 10:37 PM
The title is Army Talk for: Heavy Equipment/Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic, with Additional Skill Identifier Hotel 8 Alpha. Finally, after 6 years of dedicated service...I get to attend one of the most sought after Military Training Certificates in my Job. I am leaving tomorrow to attend the US Army's Heavy Equipment Recovery School, or HERS for short. I know the acronym is funny, but anyone who has been a mechanic in the Army knows how hard this course is to get. Not just any mechanic can go. It is reserved for the ones who show the most promise, and demonstrate the most skill. My brigade (555th Engineer Brigade, AKA "The Triple Nickel"), is only sending 4 people. 4, out of about 300 mechanics. Not very good odds.
The ins and outs are the school are pretty easy to understand, but the training is anything but easy. Learning to use winches, snatch-blocks, chains, straps and self recovery methods safely, and correctly, is no easy task. Neither is recovering a 77-ton tank, or a 150,000 lb fully laden fuel tanker. There are foot marches, each succesively longer, carrying heavy equipment, hands on exercises, expertise demonstration, and a heavy-fire hookup. That means you are getting shot at (with blanks of course), while you are trying to recover a truck. Sounds fun, at least to me. I have waited 6 years to get this chance, and I am gonna take it and run. Just thought I would let my friends on the Z know whats going on in my career, and how I am progressing. My thoughts are, Heavy Equipment Recovery is a very valuable skill. Not many people out there on the civilian side can do it, and probably even fewer can do it well.