By Ms. Lori K Mcdonald (AMC)February 14, 2011
Sierra Army Depot once again had the opportunity to highlight their capabilities to the Army's first female four-star general on Feb. 7, 2011.
Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, Commanding General of the US Army Materiel Command, was greeted by Lt. Col. Joseph G. Dalessio, SIAD Commander, Mr. Donald Olson, SIAD Deputy to the Commander, and Ms. Marion Whicker, TACOM-LCMC ILSC, when her plane touched down at Sierra's Amedee Army Airfield. With no time to waste, Dalessio and team began a fast pace tour to provide Dunwoody with an update on SIAD's mission accomplishments since her last visit two years ago.
The focus of her visit was the Redistribution and Retrograde Operation. Mr. John Dingman, R&R director, began the tour by briefing Dunwoody on the receipt, processing, production and redistribution of material back into the Army's supply system. Dingman explained the vast improvements the Depot has made to our internal processes since we started receiving excess material from Qatar in 2004. Dingman went on to say the Depot now has fully developed their procedures to unpack containers, identify and classify the material, bring all items to an accountable record, perform inventory management functions, maintain visibility for the owner, and ultimately ship to an end user. Dunwoody was pleased how the depot was able to provide value back to the Army with this previously declared excess material.
From the receiving area, Dunwoody and group walked through one of the consolidation and distribution programs SIAD is carrying out for the Clothing Management Office (CMO). In an ongoing effort to bring value from previously declared unserviceable material, Sierra has recently begun repairing Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert (ESAPI) "armor" plates that exhibited some form of External Material Failure (EMF). These external failures make the armor plate unusable by soldiers in the field, and would have previously been destroyed by the Army. Sierra currently has over 500,000 ESAPI and ESBI plates on hand - with more than half of them "unserviceable" due to EMF. Instead of destroying each of these plates (and buying a replacement at a cost of about $550 each), Sierra worked with the manufacturer to implement a repair program. Olson informed Dunwoody that the CMO asked Sierra to establish a repair capability to "patch" these plates and return them to inventory as serviceable assets (at a cost of approximately $125.00 each). Olson said "Sierra currently repairs an average of 300 plates per day - and is expanding our capacity (to 600 per day) by adding additional work stations and a second shift. Potential cost avoidance to the Army could reach $150M just by fixing these plates - instead of buying new ones". Dunwoody stated she was extremely impressed with the ESAPI operation, especially when SIAD highlighted their 2,000 plates a day X-ray capacity and their ESAPI repair initiative.
The third stop along the way was another program being conducted at Sierra for the CMO -Organizational Clothing & Individual Equipment (OCIE) management for Army Reserve Soldiers. Dingman began by telling Dunwoody the depot averages approximately 41,600 material release orders per week for the OCIE program with cost avoidance to the Army with support of retrograde materials and "excess" OCIE of approximately $23 million. Dunwoody learned the material for the Reserve OCIE mission is received directly from DLA, "excess" OCIE from Clothing and Issue Facilities (CIF's), as well as returned items from Southwest Asia (SWA), and posts/camps/stations. Dingman said these items are processed the same way as any other material throughout his organization. Again, once these items are brought to record, then the Depot subsequently ships serviceable reset "kits" to CIF's worldwide based on CMO direction.
Dalessio's next stop for Dunwoody was through one of the newest missions here at Sierra - at the Army's main Non-Standard Equipment (N-SE) Retrograde and Redistribution Site - where we manage excess "non standard" material that units requested during their deployment in Iraq. Olson began by saying that Sierra established this new mission capability at the direction of the HQ AMC and Army G-4 to receive and process upwards of 20,000 additional containers of material returning from Iraq. Mr. Riley Junk, N-SE supervisor, explained the flow process of material received and bringing it to record using a new Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced (PBUSE) System. The PBUSE is the Army's web-based, state-of-the-art, Combat Service Support property accountability system. Riley continued saying that once the assets are brought to record, they become visible to potential users and are redistributed to any location in the world to meet demands. Riley walked Dunwoody along the production line explaining how the barcode or Equipment List Identifier (ELID) sticker is scanned with an electronic reader. The file is then uploaded into PBUSE for accountability of assets.
Riley boasted since processing the first receipts of N-SE material a year ago, Sierra has received and brought to accountable record over 16,000 non standard items, with an acquisition value of $87M. After making these items visible to potential users, SIAD had shipped over 8,200 of these items, with an extended value of more than $34M to 72 separate locations across the world (including redistribution of more than 100 items to 12 States in support of the National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property (NASASP) Program). Riley directed Dunwoody's attention to assets that had been identified by several representatives from the NASASP and explained how each gaining state would pay all transportation costs to receive these items.
Dalessio closed out the visit with a drive-through of the Army Prepositioned Stock (APS) staging area. He also updated Dunwoody on the Depot's program/process improvements since the November 2010 AMC IG visit.
Upon the conclusion of her trip, Dunwoody commented that SIAD brings value back to the enterprise through the aforementioned programs.