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Cpl. Yosty Villafuerte, quality control inspector, Maintenance Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 15 (Forward), tests ‘Medusa,’ an AMK-36 wrecker after it was repaired following its third improvised explosive device strike, a few months ago. Medusa can now resume her mission of recovering vehicles during combat operations in support of coalition forces, thanks to the Marines of Motor Transport Maintenance Platoon.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Kenneth Jasik

‘Medusa’ drives on despite IEDs

15 Feb 2011 | Lance Cpl. Kenneth Jasik

She sits about 15 feet tall and weighs about seven tons, and despite being blown up by several improvised explosive devices, she hasn’t thrown in the towel just yet.

Her nick name is Medusa, an AMK-36 wrecker belonging to the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division (Forward).

Medusa’s job is to recover damaged or immobilized vehicles. On her last mission a few months ago, Medusa struck an IED – her third since arriving in Afghanistan in early 2009.

But now she is ready to return to the fight once again due to the efforts of the Marines of Motor Transport Maintenance Platoon, Maintenance Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 15 (Forward), 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), spent countless hours restoring her back to full duty.

“We replaced pretty much everything that makes a wrecker, a wrecker,” sail Cpl. Andrew S. Wertz, a mechanic with Maintenance Co., CLR-15 (FWD), 1st MLG (FWD), who worked on Medusa.

This is not Medusa’s first trip to the Intermediate Maintenance Activity. Medusa has been fully repaired at least three times before, due to battle damage. Every time the truck has been struck by an IED, the motor transport maintenance Marines have been able to repair Medusa.

The maintenance Marines take a lot of pride in repairing wreckers, because the vehicle’s role is important to anyone on the road. A wrecker adds a significant advantage to any combat logistics patrol due to its ability to quickly recover any broken or damaged vechicle.

“I’m sure 3/5 is happy to get their wrecker back,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Elizabeth R. Schell, motor transport officer, Maintenance Company, CLR-15 (FWD), 1st MLG (FWD). “It is an important asset. If a truck gets hit [by an IED], a wrecker is the best thing to get it out.”

Although she has struck multiple IED's during her time in Afghanistan, Medusa is still running and will continue her mission of recovering vehicles thanks to the Marines of Motor Transport Maintenance Platoon.

“The spirit and drive to take care of our fellow Marines through the maintenance of essential wheeled assets is a primary focus here at the IMA,” said Schell, 40, from Wylie, Texas. “Every mechanic who worked to put this vehicle back in service did so with pride, determination and professionalism. They continue to amaze and impress me with their skill, ‘can do’ attitude and esprit de corps.”


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