Infantry Drills

E-114: Maintenance

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E-114. Leaders must plan for regular maintenance halts throughout extended operations. Combat vehicles require regular maintenance to perform consistently throughout combat operations. Combat vehicles can become non mission capable due to a number of variables including, direct and indirect enemy fire, mines and IEDs, vehicle accidents, and parts failure. Infantry leaders should enforce regular PMCS of all combat vehicles attached to their unit. PMCS is operator-level maintenance conducted before, during, and after equipment operations. Comprehensive PMCS identifies actual and potential problems and ensures repairs are made in a timely manner to minimize vehicle downtime. Early detection and correction of these faults can decrease the possibility of the combat vehicle breaking down during combat operations and prevent minor faults from deteriorating into major faults. It is the vehicle crew’s responsibility to conduct PMCS. It is the leader’s job to ensure the PMCS is conducted regularly and to standard.

E-115. Leaders should plan vehicle security of the vehicle crews as they conduct PMCS, based on the enemy situation. Additionally, leaders should establish a maintenance rotation to ensure all their combat vehicles are not conducting maintenance at the same time. This will maximize the combat power of the unit. Leaders should also—

  • Verify all current and updated technical manuals and references are available or requisitioned for unit assigned equipment.
  • Verify all tools, POL, personnel, and other resources are available for PMCS.
  • Observe operators performing PMCS at prescribed intervals.
  • Review maintenance forms and reporting procedures for accuracy and completeness.
  • Verify operators have correctly identified and corrected, or recorded, faults on DA Form 2404. (See figure E-14.)
  • Confirm non mission capable faults are corrected before dispatch.
Figure E-14. DA Form 2404 front page

E-116. Leaders also should plan the possibility of combat vehicles requiring maintenance at a level greater than the crew is equipped or trained to conduct. This often requires specially trained mechanics and equipment organic to the parent unit of the combat vehicle attachment. Leaders should plan for two possibilities. One, the maintenance team moves to the combat vehicles. This may require additional security and or escorts from Infantry Soldiers. Two, the combat vehicles must move to the maintenance team. Maintenance teams often are located at the parent unit’s maintenance collection point. Infantry leaders may have the responsibility of providing security or escort duties. Additionally, leaders should plan on the non-mission capable vehicles to be absent from their task organization if a major maintenance fault is discovered.

Next: E-117: Recovery Operations

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad