LETTERKENNY ARMY DEPOT, Chambersburg, Pa. -- Local officials and depot employees gathered Thursday morning in the maintenance facility to congratulate its Force Provider team for receiving Letterkenny Army Depot's ninth Shingo Medallion for manufacturing excellence.

Sen. Rich Alloway II, Pennsylvania's 33rd District, took the opportunity to recognize the depot for its efforts. Rep. Bill Shuster, 9th District, presented the award to depot commander Col. Victor Hagan and Force Provider branch chief Gene Kane.

"These Force Provider modules improve the life for the men and women who are out there in harm's way," Shuster said. "As I travel around -- I've been to Afghanistan and Iraq over the years -- I always hear the praises from our war fighters of the men and women at Letterkenny."

Hagan was able to give the audience a glimpse at the savings this effort produced as he celebrated his first Shingo award ceremony in command.

"An overflow of ideas and suggestions influenced by Lean principles resulted in savings, to include a cost avoidance of over $17,000 in the production layout and process for generators," Hagan said. "Modifications to the pack-out process saved 414 man hours per module, totaling $862,829 across 27 modules."

He also acknowledged the importance of depot savings during these times of budgetary uncertainty. "As military spending continues to reduce and as our mission to support the Soldier continues to hold strong, it is imperative that we continuously beg the question, 'How can we do it better? How can we do it faster? And how can we do it for less?'"

Force Provider is a combat multiplier used as a forward deployed system that increases combat capabilities by providing superior living conditions for deployed Soldiers. A Force Provider module is capable of supporting 550 Soldiers and 50 operators. A single module is typically established on 10 acres of land and takes five to six days to set up and make fully operational. Letterkenny executes Force Provider new build and reset missions for the Natick Soldier Systems Center.

The audit to examine the depot's Force Provider submission was conducted Feb. 19-20. Four senior level managers from various organizations, such as the Boeing Company, comprised the audit team to evaluate the depot on criteria such as proving a Lean business systems model with an emphasis on customer satisfaction and profitability; quality, cost and delivery; Lean core operations as well as leadership and empowerment enablers.

Letterkenny's Shingo Medallions include the Silver Shingo for the Patriot Launcher (2005), Silver Shingo for the High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle Recap (2006), Bronze Shingo for Power Generation and Silver Shingo for Humvee (2007), Bronze Shingo for Biological Integrated Detection Systems (2008), Bronze Shingo for Patriot Recertification (2008), Bronze Shingo for the Patriot Value Stream (2010) and the Bronze Shingo for Aviation Ground Power Unit (2011).