ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. - It happened.

At 6 a.m. on Oct. 21, the Army's Logistics Modernization Program deployed at Anniston Army Depot.

"We have waited for this day for over two years," said ANAD's LMP program manager Ester Griguhn. "When we look at everything that has gotten us to this day - all the hard work, the training - it has paid off."

LMP replaces a business system Anniston has used for three decades, the Standard Depot System. Compared to LMP, SDS did not synchronize the flow of data in the materiel enterprise, said director of production Jeff Simmons. "LMP is real time. An error destroys the reliability of data in the system."

The Army realized about 10 years ago that it would be very difficult for SDS to meet its expanding supply needs, and the first group of depots and arsenals went live with LMP in 2007. ANAD was part of Army Materiel Command's third and final deployment phase, which included all other TACOM Life Cycle Management Command sites, the Joint Munitions Command and the Army Sustainment Command.

Depot Commander Col. Timothy Sullivan, who has been in command at ANAD for less than three months, said waking up the morning of Oct. 21 was like Christmas. "I just wanted the switch to come on."

"We're excited to be using this new and improved system," said Sullivan. "Anniston has invested a lot of time and energy in preparing for this day, so there's no doubt we'll implement LMP better than any other site."

While pre-LMP projects like data cleansing, financial records migration and user training were underway, human resources at the depot were spread thin for many months with each directorate and staff office preparing for LMP as they sustained all requirements under SDS, said Griguhn.

To facilitate a smooth transition, the depot applied a blackout period between the shutdown of SDS and the startup of LMP. In the three weeks before go-live, Stryker work was the only production taking place in the Nichols Industrial Complex.

During the maintenance shutdown, work on all combat vehicles and small arms weapons was halted while employees took mandatory training and much-needed annual leave. They also used that time to clean and straighten their work spaces and conduct wall-to-wall inventory.

"The industrial area looks good," said Simmons. "I'm ready to hear some tanks moving around outside."

Leading a recently restructured organization, Michael Burke, general manager of production operations, said during the Oct. 21 go-live celebration that LMP users are already releasing production orders. "We're ready to start up a few critical programs, but we're pacing ourselves, getting everything in line with the big ramp-up expected next week," he said.

To provide around-the-clock support, dozens of LMP experts are manning the Site Command Center set up inside Bldg. 35. Depot employees and contractors are fielding calls from around the installation and as far away as Southwest Asia, where AMC personnel are providing immediate support to the military.

"One of the first urgent calls we received was from one of our co-workers deployed to Kuwait. She needed parts and we used local transactions to get the parts shipped to her," said Blake Edwards.

Edwards and Roderick Trammell were stationed in the SCC before the sun came up to see the depot go live with LMP. Two hours into LMP - by 8 a.m. - they said there was a steady stream of calls from people needing assistance using the new system. "Right now everybody might be wondering, 'Is this real''" said Trammell. "It's as real as it's going to get. The train has arrived."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16