A Changing of the Guard
October 17, 2008
USAG DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. - The Detroit Arsenal recently underwent a facelift, with the new look resulting from a significant change to the Army vehicle display in the front yard.
The impetus for the change originated with Maj. Gen. William M. "Mike" Lenears, who was the commanding general for the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (TACOM LCMC) at the time. Lenears wanted to update the display with vehicles that are representative of today's Army.
As a consequence the M110 Howitzer, which has been retired from U.S. Army service, was replaced in the monument display by the Paladin M109. The TACOM Integrated Logistics Support Center (ILSC) facilitated the donation of this M110 Howitzer to an American Legion Post in Kansas.
While an M1 Abrams Tank, HEMTT and Bradley Fighting Vehicle all remain part of the monument display, there are several new vehicles. The additions include a Stryker MGS, Paladin 109 and Up-Armored HMMWV.
Once the decision to update the monument exhibit was made, the U.S. Army Garrison - Detroit Arsenal took action to make it happen. With the display set to expand from four to six vehicles, the Department of Public Works (DPW) facilitated the construction of two new concrete platforms on which to place the additional monuments.
After the new platforms were completed, Vince Sammut and his crew from base contractor ICI Services, under the oversight of the garrison's Department of Logistics (DOL), planned and executed the movement of the new vehicles to the display location.
The large size of the vehicles complicated the logistics of the move by limiting the avenues of access to the monument site. The moving crew exercised the only feasible option, and that was to move the vehicles to the front yard display via Eleven Mile Road and through the Glancy Circle inbound gate.
Due to the safety concerns that the movement of the vehicles onto a public thoroughfare engendered, the DOL enlisted the assistance of the Warren Police Department in restricting the flow of traffic in front of the Detroit Arsenal during the time of the move.
According to Sammut, it took 10 hours to remove the M110 Howitzer, and to move the new vehicles onto the platforms at the monument site.
"We used a truck with a detachable trailer to move the vehicles, and then a bulldozer to push the vehicles into place. It was a long day, but the vehicle display looks great, and that made it worth all the time and effort," Sammut said.
The next time you happen to be at the Detroit Arsenal, take a look at the monument display in front of Building 230. You'll not only see an array of vehicles that are representative of today's Army, but you'll also get a glimpse of how far the "Arsenal of Democracy" has progressed technologically in keeping the U.S. Army the greatest fighting force in the world.