CRANE, Ind. -- Crane Army Ammunition Activity quietly marked its 36th anniversary of existence since the U.S. Army activity was organized and given the responsibility of all conventional ammunition at what was then-Naval Weapons Support Center, Crane.
Crane Army was established on Oct. 1, 1977, as a result of the Single Manager for Conventional Ammunition concept. SMCA gave responsibility to the Army for management of all common use conventional ammunition. The ammunition mission has been tied to the Navy base since its beginning in 1941.
At the brief ceremony formalizing the activation of the Activity, Crane Army's first commander, then-Lt. Col. George Connor, Jr., said, "Our quest is to make continued, dedicated efforts to provide constant service, without disruption, and to support the National Defense effort."
Although the current year was marked with furloughs, fiscal restraints and a government shutdown, Crane Army continued to excel in its mission of ammunition logistics and production. One significant change during the year was when Crane Army received a new commander as Col. Joe Dixon assumed command from Col. Linwood Clark.
Dixon recently wrote to the workforce reflecting on the changes and challenges Crane Army faced through the years. He wrote, "Through those years our workforce has seen periods of war and peace, growth and shrinkage. Currently we are in a period of fiscal restraint as our military right-sizes to the needs of the country… I know that Crane Army will continue to perform professionally, ensuring the Warfighter never needs to worry about whether or not there will be ammunition."
One highlight of the year was Crane Army employee Randall Burcham receiving the Louis Dellamonica Award for Outstanding Army Materiel Command Personnel of the Year for 2012.
Crane Army was also honored by the offices of the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army with the Excellence in Explosives Safety Award for the fiscal year 2012. It recognized a culture of safety developed by Crane Army and is essential in its mission. The importance of this culture of safety could not have been underscored more than when an explosion at its pyrotechnics facility happened in the Spring. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt and the safety measures functioned properly. The incident reminded all employees of how vital safety is on the job.
Established Oct. 1977, Crane Army Ammunition Activity maintains ordnance professionals and infrastructure in order to receive, store, ship, produce, renovate and demilitarize conventional ammunition, missiles and related components. Crane Army maintains up to one third of the DoD's conventional ammunition inventory. The Activity also provides command oversight of Iowa Army Ammunition Plant, Letterkenny Munitions Center, Pa., and Milan Army Ammunition Center, Tenn.