ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala -- Anniston Army Depot’s commitment to providing the best possible support to the warfighter extends well beyond home. Whether it’s combat vehicles, small arms weaponry, artillery or components, locomotives, rail equipment, or non-tactical generators, the installation prides itself on delivering the right product to the right place at the right time.
Have you ever thought about how items move from the depot to the customer?
A varied quantity of those items are shipped in metal shipping and storage containers that are built, repaired and tested in the depot’s Container, Fuel Cell, Radiator Repair Branch.
Many of those items include engines, transmissions, final drives, and other component parts. Whether used in the M1 Abrams, the Stryker or M9ACE, these items must arrive ready for installation.
“We take pride in repairing and testing the variety of products in accordance with requirements in the technical publications for return to the warfighter,” said William Ivey, welding supervisor of the branch.
With a team of eight welders and five tank and radiator repairers, the pandemic has changed the way employees engage and interact, it has not impacted the safety of the work being performed or the quality of the work going forth.
Made of steel sheet metal, the containers are made ready according to industrial standards for shipping to meet the customer’s request. While they are sturdy and made to endure various conditions most of the containers require some form of repair. Some of the most repetitive defects that require repair include cracked welds, holes, dents, and damaged skids.
After the repairs are made, pressure checks are conducted. By using test vats, employees ensure the containers are both airtight and watertight.
Each container is subject to a myriad of stringent quality inspection checks before transfer to DLA Distribution Anniston, who is ultimately responsible delivery to the customer.
The branch uses LMP, CAMS, and iCIIT to enter labor hours and confirmations, order parts, track production, and prioritize workload. During heavy months, which varies depending on program requirements, the shop averages 200-250 containers.
“We must make sure that when the warfighter receives the can, they can pull the old engine, install the new engine and use the same transport vessel to return the old one,” said Michael Anderson, a welding leader.
This branch is also responsible for the repair, flush, and pressure test of the various fuel, lubricating, and cooling systems components used in all of the combat vehicles overhauled at ANAD. These items include fuel tanks, radiators, oil coolers, hydraulic tanks, charge air coolers, surge tanks, etc.
Tank and radiator repairers perform the initial inspection, repair, flush, pressure test, and final inspection of these components. Welders perform any welding that must be accomplished to close leaks and repair other material defects. Once repairs are completed, the items are then sent to the designated engine, transmission, or vehicle shop for installation.