By Gideon RogersJune 27, 2019
McALESTER, Okla. -- McAlester Army Ammunition Plant works in concert with the Joint Munitions Command to support the U.S. Army Materiel Command's Strategic Readiness priority by refining processes and providing cost savings to the Army.
Joint Munitions Command's mission is "to provide the Joint Force with ready, reliable, and lethal munitions at the speed of war, sustaining global readiness." Munitions readiness is why JMC exists; and that's why MCAAP exists too.
MCAAP receives, stores, ships, produces, renovates and demilitarizes conventional ammunition. It also provides Centralized Ammunition Management for training ammunition and contingency stocks for Army units in the Southwest region.
"Providing quality munitions for the warfighter is at MCAAP's core," said MCAAP Commander, Col. Shane Upton. "Honing the processes involved in producing that precious commodity makes MCAAP more adaptive and responsive -- and elevates readiness."
Unity of effort in MCAAP's mission to provide readiness ensures accountability, transparency, and responsible stewardship, ultimately, of taxpayers' money.
Upton said that having a great reputation isn't good enough. "We must constantly examine the way we do business to maintain that high state of readiness."
The Army's industrial base employs Lean Six Sigma, which is aimed at reducing variation, improving efficiency and increasing effectiveness. This efficiency approach builds synchronization by leveraging existing tools.
MCAAP received the Army Office of Business Transformation's Lean Six Sigma Excellence Awards Program Process Improvement Project Team Award during a ceremony at the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes last month, for its "MK 84 B-Line West" Lean Project.
"By joining members from both JMC and MCAAP, our team was able to fully analyze the production line and determine the optimum production rate for the full line," said Kurtis Lund, MCAAP Lean Six Sigma Program Manager.
Lund headed the Lean Team, which included JMC Bombs and Energetics Division Chief, Cindy Medinger, and JMC Logistics Management Specialist Scott Esser; as well as Arnold Devous, Anthony Perkins, Bobby Lenardo, and Dana Lackey from MCAAP.
During the weeklong Lean Event, the team collected data on the MK 84 production line through time studies, process flow diagrams and brainstorming sessions. Starting with a baseline production rate of 87 units per day, the team devised a plan to increase the productions rate to 99 UPD, reduce overtime by 50 percent -- and save more than $4 million over seven years.
"MCAAP takes pride in being efficient, effective and the best value for our customers," said Lund. "It's a testament to the ingenuity of our workforce and it recognizes our ability to deliver lethality to the Warfighters."
McAlester Army Ammunition Plant is one of 17 installations of the Joint Munitions Command and one of 23 organic industrial base facilities under the U.S. Army Materiel Command.