TAJI, Iraq - The Iraqi Army continues to set the conditions for increased stability throughout the country by improving its strategic logistics base in Taji, Iraq. March 4 marked a significant milestone in the establishment of the Taji National Maintenance Depot when the first M1114 HMMWV to be totally rebuilt rolled-out of the 12,000 square foot Main Wheel Assembly & Disassembly facility, also known as the Wheel Depot.

U. S. Air Force Lt. Col. William Donovan, Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq's program manager for the Taji National Maintenance Depot, said, "This first rebuilt vehicle, nicknamed 'Project One' was completely rebuilt by Iraqi Army mechanics in their third month of a six-month, supervised on-the-job-training program at the depot.

Today, the Wheel Depot displayed its capability to rebuild, to depot-level standards, an M1114 HMMWV that will eventually patrol the highways of Iraq, thus placing the country under a blanket of security. The M1114 rebuild capability has finally reached fruition."

Vince Sabatino, program manager for contractor AGS/AECOM, added, "'Project One' is the first vehicle to run through the Wheel Depot's processes from the staging yard through disassembly, reassembly, inspection, test drive, and return to the staging yard, ready to be reissued back to the Iraqi Army." Sabatino explained how 'Project One' began its journey through the rebuilding process on Dec. 13, 2008 and was completed, except for inspection, on Feb. 27, 2009.

The engine was completely rebuilt with new parts and tested as zero-hours and zero-miles on the state-of-the-art electronic dynamometers in the facility. The transmission is a zero-hour, zero-mile transmission.

Iraq Army Brig. Gen. Shalal, Taji National Maintenance Depot commander, spoke at the ceremony commemorating the rollout of 'Project One'. He said, "Today we have proven that the Iraqi Army will be able to sustain its growing fleet of Humvees once the Depot is completed and Coalition forces depart. I am very proud of all the work that went into making 'Project One' successful."

The Taji National Maintenance Depot is scheduled to be completed and transitioned to full Iraqi control on Jan. 1, 2010. The depot development process began in June 2006 with key personnel from Red River and Anniston Army Depots collaborating at the request of MNSTC-I leadership. Army Materiel Command personnel began the process of developing an Iraqi National Maintenance Depot capability by providing survey and planning teams. The AMC-led teams surveyed the depot site and prepared plans for developing the depot facility building-by-building.

AMC technicians are working hand-in-hand with MNSTC-I personnel and multiple contractors during the entire development process. 'Project One' was the result of a combined effort between the Iraqi Army, AGS/AECOM contractors, AMC and MNSTC-I personnel.

MNSTC-I J4's efforts in supporting the Iraqi Army and the Taji National Maintenance Depot represent a vital step towards ensuring Iraq's self-sufficiency for the future.