ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - A new M2 machine gun repair procedure will save $3.9 million over the next three years according to a Value Engineering study.

The TACOM Life Cycle Management Command developed the field level repair procedure that will extend the life of the M2, Walter Hilliard, TACOM equipment specialist said.

"We have been getting e-mails from the field on unserviceable M2 machine guns because of the receiver side plate holes being stripped out," said Hilliard.

The side plate holes are used with machine screws to secure the charging handle assembly to the receiver side plate. Once the holes become stripped, the weapon cannot be used.

Without the new repair procedure, the weapons are shipped to depot, and because they usually cannot be repaired they are disposed of, he said.

A team of TACOM and Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center personnel developed the procedures using a thread repair kit that was already available in the TACOM Maintenance Operations Procedures Shop, Hilliard explained.

Hilliard noted that after the team developed the new repair procedures, TACOM personnel tested the M2 at Rock Island Arsenal's firing range.

"We passed the test firing and decided to go forward to implement the repair process," he said.

The procedures are approved and published in PS Magazine, Equipment Improvement Report Digest, the Army Electronic Product Support website, the technical manual and the depot maintenance work requirement, Hilliard said.

Logistics Assistance Representatives and equipment maintainers at Directorate of Logistics shops are using the procedure.

"We've already received several e-mails from the Small Arms Support Center in Iraq stating that they've saved 15 receivers, because they've followed the procedure," said Hilliard.