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LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan- U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Danny Gastelum, a vehicle maintainer on the Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team, focuses on repairing the lower rear section of the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle. The Los Angeles native enjoys his job and finds reward in ensuring these vehicles are safe for missions outside the base. (Photo by U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Rachel Davenport, Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Danny Gastelum, from Los Angeles, and U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Timothy D. Moore, from Stuart, Okla., are both currently serving with the Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team as valuable assets in the vehicle maintenance shop on Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam, in eastern Afghanistan’s Laghman province.

 

For these two Airmen, doing their part in bringing their fellow warriors back safely on a daily basis is the most rewarding part of this deployment.

“As long as I continue to do my job it makes things easier on everyone else,” Moore said. “I can sleep very well at night knowing that.”

Scheduling oil changes, changing tires, troubleshooting problems and ordering supplies are part of their daily routine. Their teammates rely on Gastelum and Moore to stay focused.

The vehicles and passengers conduct long missions in 120-degree weather over the rough terrain; and the people inside carry an average of 70 pounds of protective gear strapped to them, so a vehicle breakdown is the last thing the team needs.

“We want the best possible craftsmanship for the guys on the road, and that means staying until the job is done,” Gastelum said.

This deployment is the third for Gastelum and second for Moore.LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan- U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Timothy D. Moore, a vehicle maintainer with the Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team, works hard but enjoys his job and working with his fellow teammates. The Stuart, Okla., native fixes vehicles and performs daily maintenance on them to ensure they are at 100 percent prior to being used in missions outside the wire. Because of the messy nature of his job, Moore wears the blue overall suit so he can more effectively do his job without ruining his military uniform. (Photo by U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Rachel Davenport, Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)

Moore is continuing a military tradition started by his father, Paul D. Moore. 

“My father served in the Army as a welder and fuel handler in Desert Shield and Desert Storm,” he said. “He is my hero and I want to follow as closely as possible in his admirable footsteps.” 

As for Gastelum, he is the first member of his family to join the military. 

“My family always tells me that they are proud and amazed by how I am serving,” Gastelum said.  

Family members are not the only people to recognize Moore and Gastelum’s work. The entire PRT, including the leadership, recognizes their hard work. 

“Without them, we can’t go anywhere or interact with the locals, which is critical to effective counterinsurgency,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col Michael Simonelli, originally from Brooklyn, N.Y. and the current PRT executive officer and civil military operations center chief.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 02 April 2010 20:09
 

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