ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT -- The depot tries twice each year to cease the work on combat vehicles and small arms weapons to allow for another kind of maintenance--the kind that gives facilities and equipment repairs and upkeep needed to perform the aforementioned depot maintenance.

From Dec. 24, 2011, through Jan. 2, 2012, the majority of the depot's workforce will take a week off while electricians, plumbers, millwrights and other essential personnel from the directorates of public works and engineering and quality toil away at the utilities and machinery that keeps the depot running.

Scotty Arrington, DEQ's director, said the shutdown period allows DEQ personnel to perform preventative maintenance and safety inspections on critical equipment throughout the industrial complex.

"By performing the proper maintenance during shutdown, equipment breakdowns will be fewer during peak production times," said Arrington.

DPW director Tommy Gains echoed those sentiments.

"A scheduled shutdown period allows maintenance and repair to be performed, both on facilities, infrastructures and equipment, in a controlled and cost effective way, preventing costly unscheduled shutdowns. An unscheduled shutdown costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour when our industrial plant is not working," he said.

Jeff Simmons, the depot's director of production said without scheduled maintenance time the installation would not be able to operate and execute an approximately $800 million budget.

"DPW and DEQ do a tremendous job of keeping us operational day and night," said Simmons.