MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --
The 167th Security Forces Squadron, West Virginia Air National Guard, received two new trucks earlier this year replacing two vehicles that were nearly twenty years old.
The Ford F-150 trucks, funded by the National Guard Bureau, came pre-equipped with a police package including emergency lights, sirens, wiring for radios, upgraded cooling systems and alternators, according to Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Schildt, 167th SFS manager.
In addition to being used for daily security operations the trucks may be used to transport their domestic operations kit, a mobile package of tools and equipment for supporting large public events or disaster response.
“The trucks bring an increased level of safety, comfort and morale,” Schildt said.
Master Sgt. Patrick Judy, 167th SFS operations superintendent agreed that the trucks were a morale boost.
“Our guys see a truck that is completely outfitted, it’s got a weapons case and an upgraded radio system, they are pleased with it,” Judy said.
Air Force vehicles are projected to be in operation for twenty years but the rigorous demands of the Security Forces mission had taken its toll on the trucks that were replaced. Each truck had well over 100,000 miles and their engines were replaced more than once.
“We were approaching the point of no return [with their old trucks],” said Chief Master Sgt. James Geraghty, 167th vehicle fleet manager.
Geraghty said he and his vehicle maintenance staff, who are responsible for maintaining nearly 170 vehicles base-wide, worked on SFS vehicles almost daily prior to the SFS receiving the new vehicles.
“The fact that [vehicle maintenance] were able to keep our vehicles running the way they did despite a number of constraints says a lot about them.” Schildt said.
Schildt says the SFS has implemented a few changes to their daily operations and plans to make a few upgrades to the trucks to increase their longevity.