Anniston Army Depot, Ala., hosted the first Army Materiel Command industrial collaboration initiative here during a three-day visit August 13-15.

Members of AMC senior leadership-Gen. Benjamin Griffin, commanding general; Lt. Gen. (P) Ann Dunwoody, deputy commanding general; and Brig. Gen. James Pillsbury, deputy chief of staff for logistics and operations-along with Maj. Gen. Scott West, commanding general, TACOM LCMC, toured the installation while assessing various work processes and proficiencies.

Depot and arsenal commanders and AMC senior executive staff members accompanied the generals.

"The depot has a great history, which is invaluable to this nation," said Griffin. "An installation is strong because of its people and their attitude."

ANAD, with approximately 7,000 employees, is the designated Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for combat vehicles, artillery and small caliber weapons. Complete overhaul and repair is performed on the M1 Abrams tank, M113 family of vehicles, M88 Recovery vehicle, Paladin and FAASV, M9 Armored Combat Engineering vehicle, and Stryker vehicle. While a large majority of the work is done in-house, the depot also has dedicated volunteers who provide field services and repairs at other stateside locations and abroad.

Day one's exploration

During the first full day on the installation, an extensive itinerary included stops at the Turbine Engine, Laser/Thermal Electronics, Combat Vehicle Overhaul, and Powetrain facilities, showcasing extensive Lean initiatives, some of which resulted in Shingo recognitions.

"I came to the depot six years ago and so much has changed visually," said Ron Davis, AMC G4/7/9, who was here to review Lean Six Sigma and infrastructure. "Today the employees are using terms and phrases that indicate they've got the concept."

Currently, the depot has used Department of the Army-based training, but plans are to begin in-house training in December. The depot has one master black belt in training, nine certified black belts and 54 certified green belt recipients.

A display of personal pride by depot employees was duly noted by Col. Steven Shapiro, commander, Letterkenny Army Depot, after touring the Reciprocating Engine shop and welding areas. "The employees understand who their customer is," said Shapiro. "And the support shops understand the role they play in completing the mission."

"Anniston has made a tremendous movement forward with management, projects, and infrastructure," said Prince Young, director of Industrial Base Operations, TACOM. "In the area of partnerships, you are the forerunner."

Next day's tour

Day two visits included the installation's Career Academy, Child Development Center, Industrial Waste Treatment Plant, and Machine and Depot Maintenance shops; Safety, Recycling, Human Resources, and Information Management offices also hosted the guests.
The final day began with a visit to the demilitarization facility for an update on the chemical weapons stockpile.

In conclusion, generals and staff members were overall pleased with their assessment of the depot. "It was great to see the Anniston workforce continuing to do great work for the nation," said Dunwoody.

"Anniston's reputation speaks for itself," said Griffin. "When we talk about reset, Anniston gets the highest compliment. You're on the right path - remain focused while producing top quality equipment."

Kudos for the support provided

Weeks of planning went into preparation for a visit of this magnitude, which was only made possible by a capable and dedicated workforce. "I am proud that the depot was part of the initial process," said Col. S. B. Keller, depot commander, prior to expressing laudatory remarks about the depot's cooperation. "Team Anniston is comprised of many heroes within the various directorate, tenant and special staff offices. We couldn't have done this without their support."