By Mrs. Jennifer Bacchus (AMC)September 16, 2010
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. - When Stryker vehicle FSV-0041 arrived at Anniston Army Depot in March, it was one of four vehicles destined for the installation's Stryker Repair Facility. As the vehicle completed the testing process, however, it became clear that FSV-0041 would be a milestone vehicle for the program - the 300th Stryker repaired at Anniston.
The repair program began in 2006 with a small number of mechanics. There are now 80 ANAD mechanics on the line producing about 100 vehicles each year.
"We do the same maintenance on the vehicles as the mechanics who work on the Stryker reset program, except that we disassemble each vehicle down farther to repair them," said Billie Hooper, depot program manager. "In some cases, we have to disassemble them down to the bare hull."
FSV-0041, which completed repairs on Aug. 31, was a combat-damaged Stryker, meaning it had a small amount of structural damage. According to Hooper, most combat-damaged vehicles are still functional and can be driven into the shop for inspection and disassembly. The battle-damaged vehicles, by comparison, are typically not functional.
No matter the way they enter the shop, however, every vehicle leaves the Stryker Repair Facility the same way - looking and working like a new vehicle.
"We take them back to like-new status," said Hooper. "They have to be fully mission capable."
The repair begins with inspection. An engineer from General Dynamics Land Systems, the original equipment manufacturer for the Stryker, looks over each vehicle to determine what repairs should be made to the structure and compiles a list of suggested repairs. After the list and vehicle are handed over to the depot mechanics another, more in-depth, functional inspection takes place.
That inspection for FSV-0041, according to Sandra Truss, supervisor for the repair facility, showed most of the damage was near the driver's compartment.
Each Stryker is then disassembled, using the information from the two inspections, down to the point where depot welders can make structural repairs.
The average repair time for a combat-damaged Stryker is 45 days. During that time, it is disassembled as much as needed, fully repaired and then rebuilt and upgraded by a team of six depot mechanics who take the vehicle through the process of rebuilding and testing.
"We don't have a sub-building that does any work for us. All the work with the exception of welding and final paint is done right here," said Truss.
Hooper said the crew in the Stryker Repair Facility celebrated the completion of the 300th Stryker by beginning work on number 301.