ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Depot Commander Col. Joel Warhurst spoke to employees in a town hall session Feb. 14.

Warhurst's remarks and answers to questions covered topics from the installation's workload to safety, continuous process improvement, quality, accountability and hiring.

MISSION AND VISION

The meeting opened with a look at the depot's Mission and Vision statements, which stress the depot's goal to be the best at delivering quality combat vehicles and weapon systems on time and to specifications to the war fighters.

"In the end, it's about making us competitive today, tomorrow and in the future," said Warhurst.

WORKLOAD AND READINESS

ANAD's workload for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 look good, according to Warhurst, who said he wanted employees attentive on the current workload and executing it to schedule and specifications.

The reason for that focus is readiness. Warhurst said it's important to the readiness of troops for them to be able to count on the equipment received from ANAD.

"If we can rebuild an AGT-1500 engine to standard, we want to know that engine is going to have the hours on it that are promised when it gets to the field," said Warhurst.

Performance to Promise, being able to produce equipment to specifications at the time it is needed by the war fighters, is one of the keys to readiness.

Currently, ANAD's P2P is approximately 92 percent.

He urged employees to do things the right way every time and reduce the time and expense needed for re-work.

"If you don't have the time to do it right the first time, what makes you think you have the time to do it right the second time?" he asked. "We all have to realize we are accountable for the quality in the processes."

CONTINUOUS PROCESS IMPROVEMENT

The depot has a $31.7 million goal for continuous improvement projects during fiscal year 2018.
That amount has been divided across every organization on the installation.

"The goal of that is to give everyone a piece of ownership in the plan," said Mark Johnson, director of Production Engineering for ANAD. "This is not the command staff's program, our CPI program belongs to everyone on the depot."

He asked employees to consider changes which could make a process easier, safer or more efficient.

Employees can speak with their supervisors first about the project and then contact DPE at Ext. 4750 or 7248.

DPE is currently training supervisors on Lean processes and will soon begin training for non-supervisory personnel.

"Our goal is to make the training part of our annual program for CPI," said Johnson.

Additional information about continuous process improvement and the Directorate of Production Engineering will be shared during the Feb. 28 Morning Show.

DIRECT HIRE AUTHORITY

ANAD recently began to utilize direct hire authority, which was issued to industrial base facilities with the appropriated funds for fiscal year 2017.

The authority extends through FY2018 and is based on workload.

The depot's use of direct hire authority will have three phases, due to be complete by the end of September.

Phase 1, which is currently on-going, is open to internal employees on time-limited appointments, such as term and temporary employees.

Phases two and three are scheduled to progress in the next two months.

Phase 2 is open to the public and will seek to fill permanent vacancies in professional positions.

Phase 3 will fill follow-on positions, primarily any temporary and term positions needing to be filled after employees on time-limited appointments are selected for permanent positions.

Warhurst told employees the depot is limited in the number of permanent positions which can be offered by the total number of permanent positions the installation is allowed to have.

SHARP

The commander reminded all employees to treat each other with respect and report all incidents of sexual harassment or assault.

"The rumor I hear is that a lot of people feel they don't have the ability to report because they are a term, temporary or a contractor," said Warhurst, as he reiterated that all employees have the ability and are encouraged to make reports with no fear of reprisal.

"At the end of the day, we want everyone to feel comfortable and confident that they can come into a work environment free of harassment," he said.

DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS

"We ought to all be focused on the mission and then we wouldn't have any disciplinary actions," said Warhurst, as he listed items such as tardiness and attendance, disrespect, dishonesty and a failure to follow instructions as some of the reasons for recent disciplinary actions.

Warhurst showcased a list detailing some of the ways employees can avoid disciplinary actions:
• Show up to work on time
• Do the work that is assigned to you
• Do it in accordance with all instructions and directions
• Treat others the way you want to be treated

SAFETY

Comparing fiscal year 2017's accident rate at this time in the year to this year's recordable accidents shows no change - both years had 19 recordable accidents.

In overexertion injuries there is a 31 percent reduction between FY17 and FY18.

Repetitive motion injuries, however, have an increase of 15 precent - from 60 to 75 percent.

The depot is currently awaiting completion of Stage I of the OSHA Challenge. Stage II is scheduled to begin in March.

Stage 2 will entail much more employee involvement, but many employees may not notice much of a difference, since the Special Projects Office, knowing the future requirements, increased employee involvement throughout Stage 1, asking employees to be active in all areas of the safety program.