CRANE, Ind. – Uniformed army leaders and civilians officially opened two new facilities at the Crane Army Ammunition Activity Thursday. A state-of-the-art electroplating workshop and centralized reception building are now in operation, supplying ammunition to the US military in south-central Indiana.
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The two military construction projects have been a long time coming for Crane Army, with more than a decade of planning, financing and construction going into the process. Realizing two projects at about the same time is almost unknown for the Army’s ammunition depots, which makes the severing ceremony particularly exciting for the overarching modernization strategy of the Army Material Command.
“This breakthrough in the band is about more than just opening another building. It’s about how our army is going through the greatest transformation in more than 40 years, “said General Ed Daly, commanding general of the US Army Material Command. “It’s about how we implement a 15-year, $ 16 billion plan to modernize the organic industrial base. It’s about our ability to grow quickly and keep up with the pace of competition, crisis and conflict. And it’s about making sure our war fighters have the ammunition they need to fight and win. “
The CAAA coating system has automated lines for the chemical treatment of steel, aluminum, stainless steel, copper and brass surfaces. In addition to upgraded equipment and automated processes, Crane Army consulted with experts in the surface finishing industry to develop a state-of-the-art facility that would significantly improve safety for employees and the environment.
“The new coating system has a production capacity that is three times as high as the parts per shift in the previous system. Gen. Gavin Gardner, commanding general of Joint Munitions Command, said. “It exceeds the industry standard for coating equipment and is designed to be expanded in the future to continue to adapt to the needs of war hunters.”
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The new station building is CAAA’s first centralized facility mainly used for receiving incoming ammunition and explosives shipments. The building has in-house bays for inspection and quality assurance, as well as nearby storage facilities to avoid transporting ammunition to multiple facilities on the base – saving the crane army time and money while reducing risk for employees.
“While we’ve spent several years building shiny new facilities for installation, we’ve also worked hard to modernize the way we protect our people,” said Col. Santee Vasquez, commander of the Crane Army Ammunition Activity. “From implementing robot lines to upgrading equipment and personal protective equipment, we want to maintain our workload at Crane Army while improving the quality of life for our employees.”
The new facilities will serve as evidence of CAAA’s commitment to modernizing the ammunition readiness landscape across the organic industrial base. These facilities, equipment, processes, and commitments to the safety of the workforce and the surrounding area will help Crane Army set a standard in ammunition depot to effectively provide the highest quality products to the armed forces of the 21st century.
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Upcoming modernization projects include new production and warehouse facilities, modernized equipment such as rail vehicles and a revision of talent management processes.
“What we do here at Crane Army has a direct impact on American war fighters and that weight is not lost to us,” said Vasquez. “We are constantly looking for ways to make our work safer, more efficient and more effective so that even after twenty years we can still provide the best possible ammunition when it is needed.”