Investment keeps ammunition activity moving forward

* By Matt Craig A Crane voice

Crane Army Ammunition Activity is the stalwart at Naval Support Activity Crane. Long before the creation of Radius Indiana, the economic development partnership working to expand, retain and attract business in southern Indiana, Crane was providing jobs and growing the economy in our region. When Crane was commissioned in 1941, its original directive was to serve as
an ammunition production facility and depot - manufacturing, storing and repairing ammunition to the front lines during World War II.

Seventy-five years later, this vital function continues at Crane Army Ammunition Activity, and the Activity is evolving to meet the needs of today's warfighters. The sophistication of current operations is yet another example of the advanced manufacturing capabilities we are known for in the Radius Indiana region. Technology has advanced, and we are witnessing the Activity keeping pace with other manufacturing facilities in our region.

The Activity employs more than 800 ordnance production, logistic and transportation experts and includes more than 200 production buildings and 1,800 ammunition storage buildings. In 2016, Crane Army Ammunition Activity invested $6 million in equipment and more than $16 million in facility improvements.

Part of the investment comes through Crane Army Ammunition Activity's active participating in the Army's Logistics Modernization Program, which is the Army's core initiative to replace the largest, most important national-level logistics systems. The supply chain, maintenance, repair and execution solution adds a wide variety of capabilities ranging from shop floor automation to reducing data entry time, and improving visibility of material receipt and shipment performance metrics. Equipment upgrades have also been a large part of the improvements realized through the modernization program.

In the past year, Crane Army Ammunition Activity invested nearly $500,000 in advanced manufacturing pieces including an AKS Water Jet and Hurco Vertical Machining Center. These high-tech machines give the Activity enhanced capabilities in metal fabrication and show the Activity's commitment to providing the best service to Army missions worldwide.

Crane Army Ammunition Activity's quality control testing facility, originally built in 1945, has also undergone a total transformation. Completed in summer 2016, renovations focused not only on operations needed for missions support but improved working conditions. The $3.3 million in upgrades included redesigning facility layout, lightning protection systems, energy improvements, and office and break room renovations for a quality work environment. The building, once deemed as one of the worst in the entire Army, is now an advanced facility that is safer for equipment and operations and a dramatically better workspace for employees.

Radius Indiana applauds Crane Army Ammunition Activity's continued investment in its operations, facilities and workforce as it perpetuates its legacy of excellence in serving or nation and providing economic vitality for our region.

Matt Craig is director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana.