By U.S. ArmyAugust 6, 2008
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala.--Workers at the Stryker battle damage repair facility here have reached a milestone in their efforts to repair the Army's 19-ton, eight-wheeled armored vehicles that have returned from Southwest Asia.
The depot, in partnership with General Dynamics Land Systems, Defense Contract Management Agency and the U.S. Army Project Manager's Office for the Stryker Brigade Combat Team, recognized the 100th Stryker to roll out the depot's maintenance complex in a vehicle acceptance event Tuesday.
"Anniston is the backbone of the Stryker production and manufacturing program," said Col. Robert Schumitz, project manager for the Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
A Stryker Mobile Gun System, known to the production crew as MGS-0036, was the 100th vehicle to be accepted in the battle- and combat-damaged repair program at Anniston. All 10 variants within the Stryker Family of Vehicles are built here; nine of the 10 variants have come back for repairs.
"Our team of government and Defense contractor mechanics, welders and machinists invested heavily in time, effort and sacrifice in their own way to get these Strykers back in the field where the Soldiers need them," said Depot Commander Col. S. B. Keller. "Soldiers in harms way are fully aware that the products they receive from Anniston are of the best quality, and the Stryker is no exception."
What started early this decade as a public-private partnership between the depot and General Dynamics to build new Stryker vehicles for the Army expanded into another agreement in 2005 to repair the war-worn Strykers. "The partnership has grown substantially," said Don Ishmael, senior director of plant operations for General Dynamics.
The Stryker, which first deployed with troops in 2003, is a lighter, more mobile vehicle than the heavier weapon systems in use today such as the FOX and the M1 Abrams-two other combat vehicles repaired here in partnership between the depot and GDLS. The Stryker is designed to enable the Stryker Brigade Combat Team to maneuver more easily in close and urban terrain while providing protection in open terrain.
General Dynamics, the Stryker's original equipment manufacturer, uses facilities on the depot to build new Strykers while a separate facility houses the repair work being accomplished by depot employees and Defense contractors.
"The mission is to get the products to the Soldiers, and that's what you do," said Ishmael.
In 2006, the Secretary of the Army designated Anniston Army Depot as the depot of choice for Stryker maintenance, though some of the same work is conducted in the Middle East where government civilians-some from Anniston-and Defense contractors like General Dynamics are working closer to the field to provide a more rapid turnaround time.
"This is a resilient vehicle. Soldiers love it. You know how to repair it," Schumitz told the crowd.
Anniston Stryker Repair: BY THE NUMBERS
Aca,!Ac 2003: Year Strykers were fielded in Iraq
Aca,!Ac 2006: Year repair program began here
Aca,!Ac 12: Number of Strykers workers can repair in one month
Aca,!Ac 100: Quantity repaired here as of August 5, 2008
Aca,!Ac 49: Days it takes to repair one vehicle hereAca,!"an improvement in processes from 2006 when it took more than 100 days.