By Mr. Jeff Crawley (IMCOM)October 7, 2010
FORT SILL, Okla.-- When a Fort Sill unit has a tactical piece of equipment that needs to refurbished, it sends it to the Fort Sill Directorate of Logistics Maintenance Division. The facility's almost 290 contract workers from World Technical Services, Inc. fix everything from 3-kilowatt generators to humvees to 5-ton trucks.
The maintenance complex, located off Hand Road, includes shops for metal fabrication, engine and transmission rebuilds, and wheel and track replacement. The employees complete about 2,900 work orders per month, said a DOL official.
However, it's not just operational units that use its services. When post artifact storage facilities need to have their field and air defense artillery pieces face-lifted, they too, use the maintenance division.
A couple artifacts that workers are currently refinishing are a German V-1 rocket and the M65 Atomic Cannon "Atomic Annie" with its two prime movers, said Norman Andrew, maintenance manager.
By the time "Atomic Annie" is completed in November up to 600 hours will have been put into it and its movers. They will go back on display at the new Artillery Park on Fort Sill.
"This is a monumental project simply because of the size of the gun, what we had to go through to get the gun here and the historical elements tied to this gun," he said.
Last week "Atomic Annie" was in the paint and body shop to begin its cosmetic overhaul. The gun was first hand-sanded because it would not fit in the sandblasting room.
"We used dual-action sanders and 80-grit sandpaper," said Shawn Neugebauer, paint and body lead technician. "There was a lot of hand sanding in the tight areas."
Next, the gun was moved to the paint booth. Even at 55-feet long the booth was not large enough to hold "Atomic Annie" so part of it hung out of the room.
After receiving a primer coat, workers began applying olive drab paint to match its original military specifications, which were provided by the Fort Sill Field Artillery Museum, Andrew said.
After painting, "Atomic Annie" will be stenciled with it original markings, he said.
Andrew points out that mission requirements of requested work determine its precedence.
When a unit puts in a maintenance request, DA Form 2407, the work is prioritized depending on how critical it is to mission support, Andrew said.
"Operational pieces always take priority (over show pieces)," he said.
All the crew working on "Atomic Annie" knew its historical significance, he said.
"We want to show the kind of workmanship and craftsmanship that DOL provides to the installation," Andrew said.