ABV wins logistics award
Mechanic Lori Gill works on an ABV in the Nichols Industrial Complex at Anniston Army Depot.

ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. - Anniston Army Depot and the U.S. Marine Corps were honored for their collaboration on the Assault Breacher Vehicle at the 8th Annual Defense Logistics Award Ceremony in Arlington, Va., Dec. 1.

The ABV program, which was initiated in 2002, won the Military-Military Collaboration of the Year award.

Joey Edwards, the depot's ABV program manager, and Brian Anderson, the depot's Technology Integrated Division chief, joined Bill Macecevic and J.F. Augustine of the Marine Corps at the awards ceremony to accept the award.

"What an honor for this program to win this award. Just to be one of the top four finalists was a great accomplishment. But, the greatest award about this program is that it is saving Soldiers' lives," said Edwards. "To see how far this program has come from the research and development phase to the finished product it is today is proof Anniston is a new manufacturing facility and that Anniston manufacturing capabilities can compete with private industry."

The ABV is built on an M1 Abrams chassis with a special-built turret and mine plow that allows for in-stride breaching of minefields and complex obstacles.

In 2001, the Marine Corps approached ANAD for assistance with prototypes for the vehicle, based upon the installation's success with other vehicle programs.

"It was a joint effort by the depot and TACOM (now TACOM Life Cycle Management Command) to combine the new turret design with the Abrams chassis," said David Mize, pre-production controller for the depot's ABV program.

"This is the first instance, which we know of, where the services have created a vehicle internally," said David Sok, maintenance management specialist for the ABV.

Six years after ANAD was first approached to work on the vehicle, it was approved for production and, by September 2008, 16 ABVs were completed for the Marines.

Since that time, the depot has built ABVs for the Army as well and has a contract that extends to 2017 to equip Soldiers with the vehicles.

Because many of the ABV's systems are created specifically for the vehicles, about 180 depot employees work directly on the program, fabricating harness covers, hydraulic line covers and other ABV-unique components.

"There are 1,500 individually fabricated parts on each vehicle," said Edwards.

Since the M1 Abrams turret is not used for the ABV, it and other systems and parts from the vehicle are put into the Army's inventory to be refurbished and used as needed.

Currently, TACOM LCMC handles most of the contract work and parts ordering for each ABV, but, according to Edwards, a movement is underway to make ANAD the prime systems integrator for the vehicle. This would mean that, as each order is funded, Anniston would handle every aspect of the program from locating and working with contractors to the actual vehicle overhaul, fabrication and testing.

Page last updated Thu December 9th, 2010 at 11:02