Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Anniston Army Depot overhauls M88 recovery vehicles for Saudi Arabia

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Anniston Army Depot, a major U.S. Army facility for the production and repair of ground combat vehicles, overhauled 10 M88A1 recovery vehicles for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to a recent service news release.

“The depot held a completion ceremony Oct. 4 for 10 M88A1 recovery vehicles for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the Anniston Army Depot message states.

The vehicles were inducted into the production lines in October of 2018 and completed in September 2019.

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During those 11 months in the production shops, employees often worked long hours and accommodated high priority parts or processes in their work schedule.

“We completed the program on time and within costs,” said Jeff Maxwell of the Vehicle Planning Branch.

During production of the vehicles, the 10 M88s were taken through a technical inspection, intended to identify any damaged or missing parts.

Following disassembly, components to be repaired or overhauled were routed to the shops for reclamation while the hull went to the wash rack and through sandblasting for cleaning.

The weld shop then took possession of the bare hull, repairing any areas needed.

The depot’s machine shops completed work on the various components and the hull, ensuring each item met specifications.

Once they were complete, each component and the hulls were sent through the paint booths located throughout the Nichols Industrial Complex, receiving protective coatings and being giving their final hues.

The parts were then placed in kits, which were transported to the assembly line, where they were reassembled into the hulls.

Once final testing and paint touch-ups were complete, the products were ready for delivery to the Defense Logistics Agency, which will transport them to the customers.

“Our employees worked long hours in the heat testing vehicles and working on them,” said Earl Wood, a depot heavy mobile equipment supervisor. “They were often here long after regularly scheduled hours.”

Reggie Henry, division chief for the Vehicle Non-Gun Division, said he was pleased how the workforce went above and beyond, whenever the schedule required it.

“Employees were flexible with the sequence of processes, in order to get the work done on time,” he said. “They showed their commitment to ensuring the readiness of our allies.”

That commitment extended throughout the production processes, even to the touch-up of paint jobs.

“Our paint shop personnel understood the importance of ensuring we meet the schedule for the KSA vehicles and adjusted to meet that schedule,” said Shannon Elston, a supervisor for the Final Paint Branch.

Henry and Maxwell both mentioned how pleased the customers were with the finished product during a visit.

“They were really impressed with the vehicles and we did very well with this program,” said Maxwell.

During the Oct. 4 ceremony, Col. Marvin Walker noted that, though this was a small program of only 10 vehicles, the professionalism, timeliness and quality of ANAD employees may lead to future endeavors.

“When they look to assign more work to a depot they will look at our quality products,” said Walker. “It may have only been 10, but you don’t know what that may lead to.

Photo by Mark Cleghorn

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