By Letterkenny Public AffairsMarch 8, 2012
Chambersburg, PA --On Thursday, March 8, 2012, Letterkenny Army Depot (LEAD) Commander, Col. Cheri A. Provancha, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Aviation Ground Power Unit (AGPU) Build to Assemble, First Article Testing. Supporting the occasion were representatives from Headquarters Aviation, Aviation Ground Support Equipment (AGSE), and Aviation Field Maintenance Division.
Col. Provancha provided a brief history of the Aviation Ground Power Unit Program, which began in December 2005 when LEAD was tasked by U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, specifically the PM for AGSE, Huntsville, Ala. to induct assets into a Service Life Extension Program (SLEP). The success from the program produced additional work to complete the AGPU Reset Program.
When the Army urgently needed additional inventory, Letterkenny was contacted by the PM for AGSE to become the Original Equipment Manufacturer for the AGPU New Build, Build to Assemble E-Model.
"Funding for the program was accepted in September 2010 with more workload to come if we could prove ourselves through the production and supply processes," Provancha said. "We were successful as AGSE saw us as an opportunity to fix the Army's equipment shortage with AGPU new build production in July 2011."
The first major milestone occurred as LEAD began the First Article Testing (FAT) on the AGPU components in early August 2011. The FAT on the complete AGPU unit was approved by AGSE during the week of Feb. 13-16, 2012.
Guest speaker and Program Manager (PM) for Aviation Systems, Col. Anthony Potts spoke straight to the employees saying, "It's you, your creativity, manpower, innovative ideas to be faster, better, and cheaper-- that's the heart of what we do. You are the unsung heroes to the guys in the field as they have blind faith that the piece of equipment they turn on will work and work well."
In addition to manufacturing the AGPU, LEAD was also tasked with doing a complete Technical Data Package.
"Over years of service, the AGPU has gone through various upgrades and modification, which lead to a piecemealed tech data package that had gaps in the information," Provancha said. "LEAD engineering personnel have been correcting and developing drawings to make a complete, synchronized and correct package, which will provide a step by step on how to build an AGPU."
Provancha recognized the dedication, commitment and empowerment of the people on the program. "All of this success does not happen with idle hands, or people working as individuals. Members from across our Depot and Command came together as a team to provide this product to our Armed Forces."
LEAD will continue to develop in-house manufacturing capabilities on sub-assemblies and wiring harnesses.
The AGPU is an extremely important asset as it provides support to a wide range of helicopters within the Army's inventory. This system is the source of strength that provides A/C and D/C power, hydraulic pressure and pneumatic power to assist in aircraft testing and trouble shooting. The AGPU system is deployed in various locations worldwide.