CARLISLE, Pa. -- A select group of skilled artisans from the Process Support Division at Letterkenny Army Depot contributed to preserving a piece of Army history in collaboration with the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, located in Carlisle.
In the fall of 2021, an M109 Howitzer and a Bradley Fighting Vehicle arrived at the depot in desperate need of paint restoration. Over the next several months, artisans within PSD meticulously sanded, prepped and painted the two assets with historical accuracy to restore them to their former glory.
On May 23, the assets traveled from Letterkenny to U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, where they are on display to the general public at the center's Heritage Trail.
"The Process Support Division within Letterkenny Army Depot is extremely honored and proud of the opportunity to work with the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center," said Jeff Barnhart, the chief of PSD. "Not only are we supporting the mission and story that U.S. AHEC captures, but we're also able to showcase the talent of our employees here in PSD."
This project was the first of its kind for the division, whose efforts typically support the depot's reset and recapitalization mission.
"It's really satisfying to see what these assets looked like when they came in and what the final product looks like," said Daniel Bowman, a sander and prepper within PSD. "Just seeing the transformation; it's just awesome."
The team embraced the historical significance of their preservation and restoration mission.
"It's a piece of history," Bowman said. "It's awesome to see the mechanics of the Howitzer and how things operate."
Clinton Buchanan has worked as a painter in PSD for over seven years, and this project marked his first experience painting this type of asset. "It was really rewarding to paint the tank itself," Buchanan said. "This was the first tank I've ever worked on."
Although the project was a complete success, it still came with some challenges.
"The camouflage pattern gave us some challenges," Buchanan said. "It just took a little more precision to get it just right."
July 17, 2022, marks Letterkenny Army Depot's 80th anniversary. The depot's partnership with U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center reinforces Letterkenny's commitment to preserving Army history and highlights the depot's historical significance within the community.
"The men and women of PSD perform extraordinary work day-in and day-out, and it is usually unseen to anyone outside of the military," Barnhart said. "This project allows them to take their families on a day trip to U.S. AHEC and point to an asset and proudly say, 'I did that.'"
Letterkenny Army Depot is the Army's premier professional organic maintenance facility that provides overhaul, repair and modifications for tactical missile air defense and space systems, electric power generation equipment and various military vehicles, support systems and protection programs. LEAD is a subordinate of U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command. It is the Air and Missile Defense and Long Range Precision Fires depot, supporting systems for the Department of Defense, foreign partners and industry. Letterkenny Army Depot was established in 1942 and is a government-owned and -operated industrial installation located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.