Corpus Christi Army Depot, TX (Sept. 9, 2010) - Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz and Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, Commanding General, Army Materiel Command met here Sept. 9, to discuss the depot's impact on the local community and the support for Warfighters.

The general, along with Col. Christopher B. Carlile, CCAD Commander, and Jim Dwyer, AMC Director of Support Operations, updated the congressman on issues that included programs, employment, production, community support and AMC's role in empowering the depot.

One potential program is the OH-58C model to "D" model conversion. Used extensively in Afghanistan, the OH-58 Kiowa Warriors are in short supply due to their supposed phase-out and replacement by the Comanche, a program that has since been shut down.

The Army wants Kiowa Warriors as an integral piece of the Combat Aviation Brigade for several more years and instituted a pilot program to recapitalize the helicopters. "Recap" is part of the Army's effort to reduce platform sustainment costs and contain the expense of replacing aging helicopters.

CCAD's maintenance, repair, and overhaul artisans generate an asset for Army Aviation that is equal to or better than a new one and presently repair OH-58 Kiowa Warrior crash or battle damaged airframes, returning them to the fight.

This program could employ additional workers adding to the depot's $2.0 Billion economic impact already felt in the community.

After the meeting, the general and her team toured the depot visiting with artisans along the way. At one of the depot's latest time-saving investments, the Avure Fluid Cell press, Dunwoody and Dwyer were presented with "Honorary Depot Artisan" certificates after participating in the operation of the press.

The press, one of four in the northern hemisphere, reduces turn-around time (and cost) for sheet metal and structural component manufacturing. What once took 12 to 14 hours of forming and annealing amid several attempts, now takes eight minutes to produce a high quality product.

The group visited the UH-60 and OH-58 production lines, the T55 and T700 engine areas and finished at the depot's Ergonomic center, a place where employees can find apparatus that allow them to engage their craft in a safer environment.

Departing, Dunwoody said, "This place is full of patriots. You can see that they are dedicated to the Warfighters. They work hard, produce a great product and it shows."