By Hayley SmithJanuary 24, 2018
CRANE, Ind. -The 295th Ordnance Company, based out of Hastings, Nebraska, completed two weeks of annual training at Crane Army Ammunition Activity from June 5-22 where Soldiers had the opportunity to perform ammunition logistics, inspections, quality control, and proper storage and transport.
The hands-on experience with live munitions is not something available at all base depots, allowing the Soldiers the opportunity to build their skill sets for future deployments.
"In my experience, our work here at Crane has actually been more intensive and much more relatable to the work that we actually do when we're deployed," Sgt. 1st Class Cody Christ, one of the Soldiers in the company, said. "When the unit went to Kuwait in '04 and '05 they did do a lot of demolition, so it aligns very well with what our job would be overseas."
Crane Army provided opportunities for Soldiers to learn from the seasoned civilian workforce who perform these types of duties full time. While the Soldiers were honing their skills they were simultaneously assisting Crane Army's civilian staff execute workload by operating side-by-side with them.
When asked about the relationship between Soldiers and Crane Army employees, Surveillance Operations Branch Chief Charles Merten said, "Every day they (the Soldiers) arrive with a positive attitude, are willing to work, and are excited to find out what they will be looking at each day. I think the interaction between the Soldiers and the Crane personnel who have never served in the military provides the workforce with a better understanding of the importance of having reliable ammunition."
The mutual respect and positive feedback was something that flowed both ways between Crane Army and the Soldiers.
"We've heard only good things back here about the way our Soldiers are working and their ethics and the dedication to their job, so I say it's been a huge benefit, just the relationship with the different personnel on base," 1st Lt. Jonathan Lindblad, the officer in charge, said.
As part of the training, Soldiers also assisted CAAA with preparations for an ammunition outload taking place in July.
"The 295th utilized their Pallet Load System (PLS) trucks to move various types of ammo from the storage buildings to the shipping facilities to be prepped for shipment," Vickie McKibben, lead supply system analyst at CAAA Depot Operations, said. "This materiel being moved and prepped is in support of five different vessel missions to support all services."
Established Oct. 1977, Crane Army Ammunition Activity produces and provides logistical support to meet conventional munitions requirements in support of Joint Force readiness. It is
one of 17 installations of the Joint Munitions Command and one of 23 organic industrial bases under the U.S. Army Materiel Command, which include arsenals, depots, activities and ammunition plants.