CRANE, Ind. - Crane Army Ammunition Activity is capable of operating regardless of budgetary continuing resolutions or government shut downs due to its status as a Working Capital Fund, but its customers still deal with difficulties with funding. As a result, CAAA remains flexible in its operations to adapt to the changing needs of its customers. This ability was put to the test recently when the U.S. Air Force faced an uncertain budget and an essential shipment of about 30 trucks to a coastal port forcing tighter schedules and increased planning complexities.
The order came to Crane Army shortly after the continuing resolution, or Further Continuing Appropriations Act 2020, had been approved through Dec 20. Placed in three parts, the operation totaled 1,450 short tons to be shipped off by midnight Nov 21. CAAA Depot Operations employees had to work fast to meet their required delivery date. DO Deputy Director Dennis Sickel said that Depot Ops has a very versatile workforce capable of short notice requirements for shipments to the warfighter.
"Everybody we have out here is pretty patriotic," Sickel said. "They understand what we are doing this for and when it comes time to do it, we don't normally run short of people to get the work done."
The advanced timeline proved to be difficult when it came to scheduling, DO Management Analyst Susie Roach said. Between meeting cancellation deadlines for trucking companies and securing funds for potential shipments, a successful mission depended on a tight timeline.
"We have to use our own judgement a lot of times because we know what the situation is," Roach said. "Bottom line, if we had hesitated, we would not have met the mission to have munitions at that port and on-loaded onto that vessel to go out and dock loaders at the port would have been at a work stoppage."
Ultimately, the shipment was carried out and Crane Army reached its deadline with minimal overtime. DO Director Matt McGowen said at the end of the day, CAAA will do what the warfighter requires to meet the mission.
"The most important thing is to deliver the munitions when the warfighter requires it, right quantity, right place, and right time," McGowen said. "It doesn't matter what the reason is, if we miss that required delivery date, somebody is waiting for munitions."
Crane Army Ammunition Activity produces and provides conventional munitions requirements in support of U.S. Army and Joint Force readiness. It is one of 18 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. Established Oct. 1977, it is located on Naval Support Activity Crane.