A team of Sierra Army Depot Mechanical Systems Branch mechanics has been diligently working to repair and improve a counter explosive hazard system over the past three years. The Husky Mounted Detection System provides standoff detection and marking of metallic and low-metallic landmines as well as improvised explosive devices laid directly on the ground or buried deeply within the earth. With its critical capabilities, the HMDS is a must have tool used in support of access route clearing operations.
According to Mike Collins, a heavy mobile equipment supervisor for SIAD, the mechanics had initially been trained by the Intelligence Electronics Warfare and Sensors team at Fort Belvoir. While working with the EWS trainers, the mechanic team created a system that enables testing the HMDS on a test rack instead of requiring the system to be mounted directly to a HUSKY truck in order to ensure repaired units are functioning properly.
That process improvement, and incremental improvements made since, has reduced testing resource requirements considerably. Test requirements that had previously taken a team of four people three days to accomplish can now be done by two trained personnel in approximately four hours, Collins said.
The improved testing system also helps to speed up the amount of time it takes to send a repaired HMDS back to the field.
Collins added that the project has generated significant cost savings over the past three years. He also commended a team of packaging specialists working for the SIAD Containerization and Assembly Directorate, noting that improved packaging has further ensured that repaired HMDS units are returned to field organizations fully intact and operational.
Collins emphasized that the testing improvements and better packaging, as well as continued software upgrades, have made the HMDS a more effective and reliable tool for Soldiers in the field, resulting in more lives saved during route clearing operations.