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Depot builds new small arms facility

Oct 16, 2009

By Miranda Myrick (TACOM LCMC)

ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. - The depot broke ground Oct. 5 on a new small arms repair facility, which will replace the one that's been used by workers here for more than 40 years in the refurbishment of rifles, machine guns and other weapon-related hardware for the U.S. military.

As the primary small arms rebuild center for the Department of Defense, Anniston Army Depot produces more than 30,000 small arms weapons each year.

"Building this facility is another step in improving efficiencies as the depot and its leaders continue supporting and equipping the brave men and women fighting for us," said U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers.

The construction project for the 83,385-square-foot repair shop is expected to cost $17.5 million, and the modern production equipment planned for the facility is worth $6.2 million.

While small arms repair work has been performed in Bldg. 129 in the depot's Nichols Industrial Complex since the early 1960s, the new facility is being built across depot, four miles from the NIC in the depot's west area next to the small arms storage building, which is maintained by Defense Logistics Agency.

The Army expects to see a return on investment in 2022. A new facility will eliminate the need to keep up the current, 65-year-old facility, saving taxpayers an estimated $500,000 a year in maintenance costs alone.

"With an increase in workload, there was a need for modernization and an increase in efficiencies," said Tim Spivey, manager of weapons and armaments production. "At the depot, we're always looking at continuous improvement opportunities in production flow and work processes in order to reduce costs for the customer."

Aside from a modernized facility and reduced transportation costs, justification for a new repair facility also includes implementation of additional Lean manufacturing initiatives within the shop, better security due to reduced weapon movement and consolidation of all small arms repair processes-including targeting and accuracy checking-into one facility.

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