What is the QASAS Special Sauce'
July 28, 2009
By Ely Trapp
Every issue The Desert Star will feature a different position and share how they contribute to the overall mission. Everyone at TEAD has a "Special Sauce," and we will let you know what that is.
Position: Quality Assurance Specialist (Ammunition Surveillance) (QASAS)
Division: Stockpile Readiness Division
Team Member: Marjorie Matteis
Hometown: New York City
Through inspections and verification, the QASAS and wage grade personnel in the Stockpile Readiness Division ensure that reliable and safe ammunition is provided to the Warfighter.
"We are the last people to touch the ammo before it arrives to its final destination," Matteis said. "It's our mission to ensure that it is safe and ready for the Warfighter so that they are safe and ready for their mission."
QASAS inspect all ammunition, ammunition storage containers and ammo storage facilities to ensure they are in compliance with regulatory requirements. At TEAD they are also responsible for inspecting empty or explosives-loaded trucks, containers and rail cars; this means standing out in the rain, snow, wind, heat and cold to get the job done. On average, QASAS inspect 650 incoming and out-going commercial carriers loaded with ammunition every month.
"We look at the little things that others don't notice," Matteis said. "If the ammo isn't serviceable, it's our responsibility to make sure it is made serviceable or destroyed; if a container is damaged, it's our responsibility to inspect the ammo and to ensure it is still serviceable; if it's time for an inspection, then it's our responsibility to make sure all ammo is inspected."
Paulette Studdert, Stockpile Readiness Division Chief, added that in addition to the inspection of ammunition, QASAS and wage grade personnel support TEAD in oversight of maintenance lines and demil operations and may also function test ammunition.
There are only 25 QASAS personnel at TEAD, soon to be 21 with personnel rotating out, but with such an important mission, there is always someone willing to step up to the plate to get things done.
QASAS are trained at the Defense Ammunition Center in McAlester, Okla. Much like military personnel and unlike many other government civilians, QASAS are required to move to different duty stations every two to three years. "We must be willing to relocate to where we are needed by the program manager," said Michael C. O'Gara, QASAS. "We get to meet new people and experience new places and things, but always with the knowledge that we won't be staying."
After nearly three years at TEAD, Matteis is moving out to her next duty station in Germany.
What is the QASAS Special Sauce' Ensuring that every Warfighter is "Always at the Ready."