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NEWS | Dec. 16, 2021

405th AFSB BASOPS Maintenance apprenticeship program stepping stone to future opportunities

By Cameron Porter 405th Army Field Support Brigade

When his father first started working for the Army a few years ago, he didn’t think this was something he wanted to do himself – not until his father told him about the Base Support Operations Maintenance apprenticeship program.

Now, just over a year away from completing the 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s BASOPS Maintenance automotive apprenticeship program, Maximilian Heins said he’s so glad he listened to his dad.

Heins works as an automotive mechanic and maintenance apprentice with BASOPS Maintenance in Grafenwoehr. During his time in the 3.5-year automotive apprenticeship program he’s worked on nearly every vehicle imaginable – sedans, cargo vans, trucks, snowplows, mowers, construction equipment – even fire trucks and emergency equipment.

When Heins completes the program in February 2023, the Tanzfleck, Germany, resident will be contractually obligated to work an additional two years with BASOPS Maintenance as a term employee. From there, if a permanent position becomes available and management feels that Heins is the right fit, he could be hired on as a full time, permanent Army employee.

Felix Pittner is newer to the program. Also an automotive mechanic and maintenance apprentice with BASOPS Maintenance, he started a couple of months ago and so far he couldn’t be happier with his choice, he said.

“I’ve been in the apprenticeship program since September,” Pittner said. “I’m excited to be a part of the program because in Bavaria working for the U.S. Army is a good opportunity. It’s a good place to work with many job opportunities.”

It’s also a lot of fun, added Pittner, who is from Haar, Germany. There’s a wide variety of vehicles and heavy equipment pieces to work on, the people are nice, and there’s always something new to learn.

Heins said most of the vehicles he and Pittner work on every day belong to U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria’s Directorate of Public Works.

“We do oil changes, tire rotations, replace filters – standard checks and services – and we do that two times a year for every vehicle,” said Heins. “And if there’s a problem with the cooling system, brakes or other components, we’ll switch out parts and make repairs.”

Heins said the permanent employees at BASOPS Maintenance are very helpful.

“When I have questions or need help operating some of the diagnostic and repair equipment, I’ll go to them, and they’ll help me every time,” said Heins.

“They’re always willing to help,” added Pittner.

The BASOPS Maintenance apprenticeship program offers many career opportunities to people who are interested and qualified, said Sabrina Meidenbauer, an office management apprentice at BASOPS Maintenance.

“As trained automotive mechanic apprentices with BASOPS Maintenance, when they complete the program they will be qualified to go back to school to become service technicians or service consultants,” said Meidenbauer.

And the same holds true in her field of work, she added.

“As an office management apprentice, once I complete the training I’m qualified to go back to school and become a certified business administrator or management expert, Meidenbauer said. “Additional training is also offered to become certified apprenticeship program trainers and training managers.”

The BASOPS Maintenance apprenticeship program is really a stepping stone with many more opportunities to take advantage of in the future, said Meidenbauer.

The apprenticeship program has proven to be a successful, alternate way to attract new employees. The program allows apprentices to learn as they go, gaining critical on-the job experience. Currently the BASOPS Maintenance apprenticeship program is only available in the USAG Bavaria area of responsibility. To find out more about the program, call DSN 314-526-3801 or commercial +49-9641-70-526-3801.

The 405th AFSB is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging the U.S. Army Materiel Command materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at www.afsbeurope.army.mil and the official Facebook site at www.facebook.com/405thAFSB.