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PEO Ground Combat Systems praises Abrams work

Sep 3, 2009

By Miranda Myrick (TACOM LCMC)

ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala.--The Army's Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems made a site visit here and participated in a vehicle rollout ceremony on Aug. 26 to express appreciation for the work performed on combat vehicles, particularly M1 Abrams tanks.

The timing of the visit by Program Executive Officer Brig. Gen. R. David Ogg, Jr. was not a coincidence, as workers here reached production milestones in August on two vehicle programs involving upgrades of the main battle tank.

"What you do here matters to the Soldiers," said Ogg. "The equipment you provide is immediately taken back into the war and often makes a difference in battle.

"Having recently returned from Iraq, all of the Soldiers I met with were absolutely satisfied with the condition and quality of the equipment you provide."

The joint rollout ceremony recognized the successful execution of two vehicle programs, the M1A1 SA/ED and the M1A2 SEP V2.

M1A2 SEP V2 (M1A2 System Enhancement Package Version 2): Workers here began to overhaul and upgrade 63 vehicles for this program in February 2009 and finished the last one in August. The Army ordered a total of 129, and the remaining 66 were built by General Dynamics Land Systems at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center at Lima Army Tank Plant in Ohio. A noticeable feature that sets this vehicle apart from other M1 tanks is the fire control system.

M1A1 SA/ED (situation awareness and embedded diagnostics): The depot began work on this M1 model in January and has already built 50 of the scheduled 156. Some capabilities unique to the M1A1 SA/ED model include the armor enhancements, remote thermal sight and the tank infantry phone.

August saw the highest peak ever in the history of Abrams repairs and overhaul work, said Mike Burke, depot's general manager of production operations. At the depot, 72 Abrams were produced.

"This is truly a team effort," said Burke. For M1 Abrams programs to be completed on schedule, he said, the depot works with other agencies: General Dynamics, the Army's Heavy Brigade Combat Team, the Defense Logistics Agency and the Defense Contract Management Agency.

Mike Martell, deputy product manager for Abrams, elaborated on the fact that "when we hand a tank off to the troops, it's not apparent to the Soldiers whether it came from the depot or from GDLS."

It should be noted that the depot has partnered with GDLS since the 1990s in the production of vehicles and other military equipment. GDLS, the M1 Abrams original equipment manufacturer, hasn't built a M1 tank from scratch since 1993, as all Abrams tanks built since then have been part of an overhaul or upgrade program. Government civilians at the depot have been overhauling M1 tanks since 1978.



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