CRANE, Ind. - Seventeen reserve Soldiers from Bloomington, Ind. with the 221st Ordnance Company in Fort Wayne, Ind. completed their mission essential tasks during a monthly drill at Crane Army Ammunition Activity this past weekend.

While assisting Crane Army in reducing production costs, the unit met their training objectives and Soldiers had the opportunity to more effectively build their ammunition logistics skillsets.

"The 221st OD Company's partnership with CAAA has helped increase the unit's readiness by completing our required mission essential tasks," Ammunition Stock Control Sgt. Ryan Bundy said. "This past weekend we were able to conduct two of those mission essential tasks, preparing ammunition shipments and performing routine demilitarization of ammunition."

During their time on base, Soldiers processed 32 crates and 117 pallets of inert ammunition related items, which led to increased unit readiness and the chance for the Soldiers to experience the entire spectrum of their military occupational specialty.

Soldiers received mentoring and hands on training from CAAA's experienced operators and ammunition handlers, as well as the opportunity to work with live ammunition. As a result of the training exercise, Crane Army was able to reclaim 381 wooden pallets and 117 metal pallets. This effort will lead to future cost reductions in producing pallets.

"Assistance from Reservists allows us to get more work done in a smaller amount of time or complete work we don't currently have the employees to accomplish alone," CAAA Depot Operations Director Matt McGowen said. "Reservists working with our workforce also gives our employees the opportunity to practice their teaching and coaching skills, which improves their ability to lead."

McGowen also pointed out a benefit beyond sharing the workload and learning from one another. "An important intangible benefit is exposure to the 'customer,' constantly reminding everyone of our true purpose to deliver munitions readiness to the Warfighter."

Established Oct. 1977, Crane Army Ammunition Activity produces and provides conventional munitions requirements in support of U.S. Army and Joint Force readiness. It is one of 14 installations of the Joint Munitions Command and one of 23 organic industrial bases under the U.S. Army Materiel Command, which include arsenals, depots, activities and ammunition plants.