Army Materiel Command four-star general visits Crane Army to review munitions readiness, modernization strategy
By Hayley SmithSeptember 8, 2020
CRANE, Ind. – Gen. Ed Daly, the commanding general of U.S. Army Materiel Command, toured facilities here Sept. 4 to see how Crane Army Ammunition Activity provides conventional munitions readiness to warfighters and review CAAA’s modernization initiatives.Daly toured Crane Army’s flagship flexible manufacturing complex and plating shop facilities to observe firsthand CAAA’s munitions readiness capabilities and the related modernization efforts. As the U.S. Army’s senior sustainer, Daly ensures that the materiel enterprise, which is responsible for providing all munitions, vehicles and equipment for Soldiers, best provides ammunition assets and avoids potential breaks in the munitions supply chain.“We are focused on looking enterprise-wide and identifying our most important production areas and our single points of failure,” Daly said. “Then we determine how to modernize those areas. We have to leverage all we can to improve those facilities.”The visit focused on Crane Army’s modernization strategy, which includes a long-term plan to upgrade existing WWII-era infrastructure to state-of-the-art facilities. These improvements will enable CAAA to provide the best munitions readiness to warfighters today and better position warfighters for the battles of tomorrow.Col. Stephen Dondero, commander of Crane Army Ammunition Activity, emphasized CAAA’s focus on preparing for future fights.“Crane Army is just as dedicated to meeting future mission requirements as we are to providing munitions to warfighters who need them right now,” Dondero said. “We can’t react to munitions needs as they arise, we have to act now. Anything else is far too late.”These initiatives require planned funding for the next several years and highlight the mismatch between Crane Army’s new equipment and its outdated facilities.“These modernization efforts stress the importance of consistent and reliable funding,” Daly said. “We have the new equipment needed, but the facilities themselves don’t match the needs of the equipment or the people working it. Changing that costs money.”Modernizing doesn’t just provide quality munitions faster and more efficiently. It also enhances safety measures and working conditions for the dedicated civilian employees at Crane Army who provide munitions for their uniformed counterparts.“The Crane Army team is my first priority,” Dondero said. “Upgrading our facilities takes better care of them as well as helping get munitions out the door to warfighters. That alone is impetus for modernizing.”Daly expanded on his people-oriented mindset as well.“There’s no difference to me between Army Civilians like those at CAAA and Soldiers deployed in Afghanistan right now,” Daly said. “We’re all working for the same Team.”As the second-largest Army ammunition depot, CAAA ships, stores, demilitarizes and produces conventional munitions for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. The activity holds roughly a fourth of the U.S. Department of Defense’s conventional munitions, valued at approximately $9.8 billion.“Crane Army’s munitions readiness capabilities are impressive,” Daly said. “It’s an excellent and versatile platform for providing power to our troops.”Crane Army Ammunition Activity produces and provides conventional munitions in support of U.S. Army and Joint Force readiness. It is part of the Joint Munitions Command and 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.