ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. - Depot Commander Col. Joel Warhurst spoke to employees in a town hall session June 6, updating the workforce on a variety of topics.


The installation has developed a new operational plan focused on lines of effort needed to achieve the goals set by the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command and the Army Materiel Command.

Lines of effort include readiness, optimizing the depot and workforce development.

Each line is highlighted by tasks or goals which support the overall goal of Army readiness and delivery of product on time, at cost and to quality specifications.

"What are those critical, enabling tasks that we must do in order to effectively execute our mission?" said Warhurst. "If you look through those 15 or 16 areas, at the center is Performance to Promise."

The readiness line is developed to ensure parts and equipment are ready at the location they are needed and at the point in the overhaul or refurbishment process where they are needed.

Optimization of the depot is heavily underway as water lines and gas lines on the installation are updated or replaced with modern equipment.

The workforce development line of effort has a strong safety focus as the installation invests time and money to ensure employees have the proper personal protective equipment and the engineering controls needed to perform work safely.


Warhurst praised employees for their hard work in preparing products for shipment on time. Performance to Promise, one of the metrics for this year's Group Award Program, is well above 90 percent and ANAD is now ranked among the top performers throughout Army Materiel Command.

The commander asked all employees to continue to focus on quality and ensuring products are built right the first time.


One of the tools in continuing to improve performance to promise is the Industrial Complex Integrated Information Tracker, also known as iCIIT.

This visual management tool enables supervisors and shop employees to see which items are a priority, down to the level of which basket of parts to work on next.

"iCIIT is going to allow us to synchronize our back shop processes to our main production efforts," said Warhurst.

Jeb Nabors, a maintenance management specialist for the Directorate of Production Management, told the workforce how he used to manually track baskets of parts and perform tasks iCIIT will one day do automatically.

Currently, iCIIT is in 21 production buildings. Four of those buildings have passive displays, meaning the priorities are displayed on the shop floor without requiring a log-on. Seventeen have Common Access Card-enabled desktops to access the system.

"This is the next wave of us staying modernized," said Warhurst. "This is about us being relevant for the future. We have to continue to improve."


Warhust reminded employees of the importance of quality in the products produced here.

"Our customer is the operator of that weapons system we delivered or that component we delivered. It's that Soldier out there," said Warhurst. "Your car breaking down on the side of the road is an inconvenience. That tank breaking down in the middle of a fire fight means lives are lost."

He asked all employees to remain constantly focused on the end result of the products and how vital it is that products work properly the first time and every time.


The depot workforce is doing well in terms of safety. The current Occupational Safety and Health Administration injury count for fiscal year 2018 is 31. That is a 53 percent reduction from the same time last year.

However, the commander cautioned employees to not be careless during the summer months.

The heat during summer can make it easier to overexert yourself, which is the most frequent category of injury at ANAD.

"You have to realize, as an individual, you own your safety," said Warhurst.

Employees also received an update on the OSHA Challenge. ANAD recently completed Phase I of the challenge and plans to complete Phase II in December.

Depot employees were reminded to adhere to specifications regarding personal protective equipment for the building they are in and the job being performed.

Currently, there is a focus on eliminating the use of headphones and earbuds in the work areas. Drew Ramsey, the chief of the depot's Safety Office told the workforce that earbuds and headphones are only authorized in the physical fitness centers on the installation, not in the work areas.


ANAD has already met $29.3 million of its goal of $31.7 million in continuous process improvement for fiscal year 2018.

According to Mark Johnson, director of Production Engineering for the depot, the goal should not only be met by the end of the year, but exceeded.

The installation plans to reinvigorate its suggestion program in the near future to keep the momentum of continuous process improvement going.

"Suggestions from the workforce play a huge part in a successful process improvement program and a value engineering program," said Johnson, adding that, if cost savings and benefits are realized through a suggestion, there may be awards for the employee as well.

Johnson will appear on The Morning Show June 20 to discuss this program as well as the importance of continuously reviewing processes and programs for changes to be made.


ANAD is set to complete between 2.8 and 2.9 million direct labor hours in FY2018.

Workload projections for FY2019 are currently at 3.6 million direct labor hours, though the commander cautioned employees that the projections are not yet funded.

Because of the increased current and future workload, the installation has utilized direct hire authority to hire 345 additional term employees across 11 different job titles and grades.

"We have really been intensely managing and leveraging direct hire authority," said Warhurst.

There have been three phases, to date, in the use of direct hire authority. The first selected term and temporary employees currently on the rolls for permanent positions.

In the second phase, additional term employees were hired to fill behind those who became permanent.

Simultaneously, phase three reached out to the surrounding community to fill permanent positions throughout several directorates and tenant organizations.

Phase four, the next round of temporary and term hiring, is awaiting budget information for FY2019.

"We are doing some analysis, reviewing everything before we squeeze the trigger and say this is the amount of people we will hire," said Warhurst. "I don't want to hire somebody and then 90 days in have the workload not pan out to where we hoped."


There are four metrics in this year's Group Award Program - Performance to Promise, Direct Productive Yield, Indirect Productive Yield and Continuous Process Improvement.

Currently, the Group Award Program payout is $1,562.50.

The metrics and their payout values can be found on page 3.


ANAD will be shut down the week of July 2-6. All employees who are not part of the emergency services force or who will not be participating in maintenance activities that week will be in a leave status.

"We need to take this opportunity to let the people who support us come in and not only work on the equipment, but also paint the facilities," said Chuck Gunnels, ANAD's deputy to the commander.


Warhurst reminded employees to be respectful of each other at all times.

Though the depot has not had a sexual harassment or assault issue, there have been numerous incidents which were categorized as misconduct.

"We never know the impacts of our comments and that our actions might have on someone else. That starts degrading the morale across the depot," said Warhurst. "Collectively, we need to take a hard look at this and challenge each other to treat each other with dignity and respect."

Any employees who see an issue should report it immediately.

The 24-hour response hotline for SHARP is 256-624-8510.