High Temperatures and Dust Destroy the Equipment in Mali. Military Mechanics from Klatovy Know How to Fix It.

 02. 05. 2019      category: Army of the Czech Republic

Soldiers of the 43rd Airborne Battalion, based in Chrudim, have already been engaged in mission in Mali for almost five months, specifically at the Koulikoro Training Centre (KTC) and other training areas. The Unit, which is supposed to take care of protection of mentors and convoy escorts (Force Protection), is, among other things, completed by the Repair Battalion and Rescue Battalion of the 142nd Maintenance Battalion from Klatovy.  It is very busy as it maintains the equipment and weapon systems fully functional.

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Picture: The V-belt defect is one of the most common defects | army.cz, Cpt. Jiří Zedníček

“High African temperatures over forty degrees Celsius, high levels of dust, as well as high operational workload impose extreme requirements on our equipment,” said Captain Roman Kamensky of the 43rd Airborne Battalion, based in Chrudim, Commander of the Force Protection Unit that operates at the Koulikoro Training Centre. 

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Picture: Damaged V-belt | army.cz, Cpt. Jiří Zedníček 

Tire defect and damaged electrical wiring 

The mechanics from Klatovy and the Rescue Battalion have many professional and practical skills, and understand their work. “Tire defects, V-belt defects and damaged electrical wiring are the most common defects. Regular cleaning of filters, coolers, or air conditioning maintenance are also necessary,” explained one the of mechanics from Klatovy, Sergeant L. Z.

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Picture: Regular cleaning of filters, coolers, or air conditioning maintenance are also necessary | army.cz, Cpt. Jiří Zedníček

They already had to drive the Tatra Multilift vehicle a few times to pick up a military vehicle with defect in remote areas.  The most serious problem occurred right from the start of the mission. The V-belt broke, the rest of the belt wound on a part of the engine block and ripped it out, leaving a hole in it.  Seemingly non-repairable defect, ready for engine replacement, was solved after great effort by negotiating about replacement parts with coalition partners.

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Picture: Cooler Cleaning | army.cz, Cpt. Jiří Zedníček

They have borrowed a special adhesive

By means of a special two-component adhesive from the Austrian Army it was possible to seal the damaged engine block, so that it worked again. It was a great success because all the equipment was maintained in operation. The soldiers from Klatovy do not repair only the equipment They are also repair weapon systems and weapons that form an important part of the combat vehicles and infantry. 

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Picture: Regular cleaning of filters, coolers, or air conditioning maintenance are necessary | army.cz, Cpt. Jiří Zedníček

The mechanics from Klatovy also provide support to the Force Protection Unit, which is deployed at the KTC EUTM Training Centre in Koulikoro and to which they belong to, and to the Guard Unit at the MHQ in Bamako. If necessary, they reinforce the Force Protection Unit and engage in base guarding.

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Picture: Regular Filter and Cooler Cleaning, or Air Conditioning Maintenance are necessary | army.cz, Cpt. Jiří Zedníček