Letterkenny engineer’s work on generators powers critical systems for warfighters

By Antwaun ParrishJune 24, 2021

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Courtesy graphic (Photo Credit: Antwaun Parrish) VIEW ORIGINAL

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Kraig Wickard, a Letterkenny Army Depot electronics engineer, recently had the opportunity to work with The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command.

Wickard was selected for a CECOM feasibility study due to his primary focus on power generators. The study led to Letterkenny developing a program to rebuild 65 Farymann engines for CECOM.

“During a production meeting with CECOM, they mentioned they were looking for a one-stop shop for generator repair,” said Wickard. “They asked if Letterkenny would be interested in rebuilding engines and AC alternators. I elevated this request through the business development office here at Letterkenny.”

Due to 2kW to 200kW generators no longer being serviced or produced, CECOM provided a list of engine priorities at LEAD’s request, which was based on the number of serviceable engines and monthly demand. The projections for engines helped Wickard’s team determine which engine would become priority.

Wickard explained that the power generators are completely disassembled and the parts are sandblasted, repainted and reassembled. All components are inspected and replaced, as necessary, to provide a level of serviceable life span. In many cases the engine is replaced with a rebuilt engine, based on the number of hours on the engine.

“A few of the engines are not available,” said Wickard. “The engine used in the MEP-952 generator is one that is not available. This generator uses a Farymann engine that was built in Germany. CECOM was in dire need of this engine. This is the first engine that Letterkenny started to rebuild.”

According to Wickard, the engineering team supporting CECOM and the CECOM liaisons based at LEAD helped him to source the parts needed for the MEP-952 engine. In order to meet their production schedule, they had to work with the Directorate of Public Works and the Directorate of Industrial Operations.

“DPW provided cost estimates and timelines to make the modifications to the buildings,” said Wickard. “DIO supports the production schedule and execute the production needs.”

Wickard went on to state that this work benefits the warfighter by providing power for critical systems they need. Whether it is a weapons system, a mapping system or a field hospital, if there is no power, Soldiers cannot perform their mission or get the medical services they need.

“Starting this program was a team effort and, without the help and support of the team, it would not have been possible,” said Wickard. “The team at Letterkenny and the team at CECOM and those supporting CECOM have done a terrific job putting this together.”