TLSC-E innovation enables 'Speed of Assembly' in Europe
By Doug MagillAugust 18, 2017
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- A Theater Logistics Support Center-Europe innovation saves resources and enables "speed of assembly" in Europe.The TLSC-E - which executes theater sustainment and force projection for the 21st Theater Sustainment Command - created three mobile ramps; the first -- a Bailey bridge parts-based ramp nicknamed "Big Bird" because of its bright yellow color is now in use at MK Airbase in Romania. The two additional ramps are based on an Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge (AVLB) and named "Mobile Ramp 2.0." Both ramps are being used as a proof-of-principle in support of Saber Guardian 17.
"We quickly assessed the need to develop these types of ramps to satisfy our current challenges and ensure future utility when loading and unloading modern, fully combat loaded, armored vehicles from rail cars in eastern Europe" said Gene Warren, TLSC-E deputy general manager.The ramps took approximately ten weeks to realize, including design planning, static certification and employment. The total cost for both ramps was less than $10,000 including parts, supplies and certification."This is record time and offers the capability to offload tactical vehicles in areas lacking end ramps," said Helmut Haufe, TLSC-E's General Manager. "It benefits our forces with freedom of movement and speed of assembly. This is another great example of the low-investment, high-yield spirit of the TLSC-E."The AVLB based ramps are modular in design. They can be transported by rail, M872 trailer series or commercial equivalent platforms and have an 85-ton load capacity. The AVLB-based ramp can support the full-combat weight of an M1A2 Abrams tank and requires no special road clearances or waivers to transport.
"The Maintenance Activity Kaiserslautern team worked tirelessly," Haufe said. "They used approximately 500 man hours of effort by both mechanics and welders."Next, the MAK is currently working with the German Technical Inspection Association (TUEV) and Deutsche Bahn - the German railway system - to add an additional skid plate extension that is mounted to the end of the ramp, enabling the loading and unloading of tracked vehicles without damaging the rail tracks. The extension will increase the existing capability and could be employed anywhere in the field without using a hard stand."This is a prime example of how an innovative workforce combined with the collaborative efforts with the host nation strengthens our commitment to enhancing deterrence," Haufe said.
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