Well, well, well: Ingenuity on the Front Lines
(Thanks to readers for pointing out the error in the previous version of this post.)
You’re in Afghanistan, at Bagram Air Base. The base needs water, which means drilling a well. The machine is shipped from Nellis AFB, NV to a port in Pakistan, but it’s loaded onto a flatbed trailer that gets the 34-ton piece of equipment stuck in a tunnel. It’s put on a different trailer, but the transport breaks and during the transfer process the rig comes off the trailer and flips over on its side. Total estimated damage is $413,000, and it’s considered non-repairable – but the rig is one of just 2 in the USAF’s inventory.
The manufacturer doesn’t want to send its people anywhere dangerous to look at the device or fix it (note to self: find other manufacturer next time). The next step is the USA’s Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office, which will turn it into scrap. But Master Sgt. John Moreland, the 819th Red Horse Sqn. metals technology NCO in charge, insists that his team has the ability to attempt a fix. After 3 months, he is given permission to try – as long as no money is spent.