Hero Salute: National Guard maintenance team keeps things running

Hero Salute

(KLFY) — When the National Guard is deployed, they bring all of the equipment and vehicles they need with them, as well as the team that keeps it all running.

Alabama native Sergeant James Odom leads that team, “I am a 91B, which is an all-wheel mechanic for the National Guard.”

Sgt. Odom explains his mission in Syria is similar to his career, “I work on military equipment as my civilian job as well, so it’s pretty much like getting up and going to work every day, just a little hotter and a little further commute.”

He and his team of six maintain about 45 pieces of equipment including vehicles, general machinery, and generators.

Temperatures in the region are topping 120 actual degrees, and averaging 112. Sergeant Odom says that proves challenging, “Probably dealing with the heat right now. Trying to keep things from overheating as much. They tend to want to shut down.”

If a generator goes out, so does the electricity. A vehicle that breaks on a mission can be disastrous. So every day, his team is assessing and maintaining.

“We can try to head off any issues that we may have or may see that may present a problem so we can try to take care of them before it gets bad,” Odom said.

Sergeant Odom has a wife and three children waiting for him to come home. He’s been with the national guard since 2006, and this is his second deployment.

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