CRANE, Ind. -- Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment Katherine Hammack visited Crane Army Ammunition Activity Jan. 23 seeing firsthand the production and logistic missions performed here every day.
The visit, arranged at the invitation of U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon of Indiana, provided a greater understanding of the capabilities of the Army tenant located on the large Navy base in southern Indiana.
"Crane Army is a tremendous asset to the Eighth Congressional District, and our nation's security," Bucshon said. "As one of the nation's foremost munitions facilities, Crane Army Ammunition Activity is essential to the mission of the Department of Defense and critical for our nation's security. It's important that we take opportunities to tell this story and showcase that Crane is leading the nation in innovation. There's no better way to do that than welcoming Assistant Secretary Hammack and I'm proud to be able to facilitate her visit."
Crane Army Commander Col. Joe Dixon provided a tour of the activity's facilities to Hammack and Bucshon, highlighting several significant energy and cost-saving initiatives being used to make the Activity more efficient. The group was briefed on ammunition renovation and re-use programs that provide new life to materials which otherwise would have been demilitarized. They also heard about Crane Army's mutual work with Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, on the production of decoy flares.
"There are so many things done at Crane that I am always amazed to discover new things whenever I visit," Bucshon said. "It is a major asset for the country, not only on the local level and the state level, and I think now we are doing the best job that we can in the current environment. At the end of the day it is about making sure that the warfighter has the right tools to protect and defend the United States. Crane is very mobile and very nimble in their response to this mission."
Following the tour, Bucshon and Hammock sat in on a Team Crane Roundtable with commanding officers for NSWC, Naval Support Activity Crane and Crane Naval Facilities. The meeting also included Washington Mayor Joe Wellman, Linton Mayor John Wilkes and representatives from WestGate, Radius and the Indiana Office of Defense Development. Discussions focused on how the Army and Navy, despite having different missions, are able to work together in many common areas. Additionally, the regional impact of Crane in southern Indiana was highlighted many times.
During the Roundtable, Wellman said, "We have a lot of people in our community that work for Crane. What is most satisfying to me is that level of cooperation with the local community. It has been said that Crane is the 'best kept secret in the military' but right here it is not a secret. It supports so many people in our community from blue-collar workers to engineers and technicians."
The impact of the base on the region was also echoed by WestGate @ Crane Technology Park Executive Director Don Shutle, who said, "We've been able to bring a lot of new infrastructure into this region and use that to leverage a better quality of life in the region. We continue to look for ways to get commercial technology spun into the work that the government is doing here."
In response to this, Hammack said, "It's great that people are able to get an education to work in technological fields and then stay close to home."
Hammack highlighted the need for installations to show resiliency and work with their surrounding communities. She said, "Our focus is on resiliency. When you look at the current environment--threats from natural disasters, threats from terrorism--all of our installations and bases need to be resilient. We want them to be that light shining in the darkness. We keep the lights on by looking for ways to reduce energy use and by better stewardship of resources. Crane's demilitarization program is a great example of this stewardship by repurposing, reusing and recycling. We also look to create a quality work environment that is safe. We couldn't be who we are without our employees and the local support."
Established October 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, Pennsylvania, and Milan Army Ammunition Plant, Tennessee.