RRAD open for MRAP business
Feb 23, 2011
By Belinda Lee (TACOM LCMC)
MRAP Mission: Yes we can
Beginning in May 2007 when the Secretary of Defense established the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle program as the highest priority of the Department of Defense acquisition program, Red River Army Depot met the initiative full force and today, is still providing unprecedented sustainment of the entire program.
"We are open for business to repair MRAPs at RRAD," said RRAD Commander, Colonel Daniel G. Mitchell.
The initial MRAP challenge was to deploy qualified technicians to Southwest Asia in support of the fielding requirements. RRAD expediently provided deployed personnel to perform the SWA in-country mission of de-processing MRAP vehicles for issue, sustaining MRAP vehicles in operation and providing qualified unit embedded maintenance teams. They have never missed a fielding and have maintained an in-theater average operational readiness of 94% on the MRAP program. In addition, today RRAD provides personnel at the recently established MRAP Sustainment Facility in Kuwait, to support MRAP FMC-plus work (fully mission capable).
The deployment initiative brought about the necessity to train military and civilian personnel to operate and maintain the MRAPs in the field. With RRAD as the host installation, the Joint Services MRAP University was established.
When the American military forces recognized the need to provide extensive accident preparedness training for users of the MRAP, RRAD fabricated the MET-MRAP Egress Trainer. The MET is a training system designed to support rollover egress training and provide vehicle crew members the confidence necessary to safely egress the vehicle in the event of a rollover.
As the SWA mission has evolved, RRAD's commitment to the sustainment of the MRAP has expanded. RRAD has been designated as the depot source of repair for the MRAP family of vehicles for all services and variants except those manufactured by Force Protection Industries. In October 2009, planning began for the stateside return of MRAPs and a pilot program was designed to establish sustainment capability. RRAD successfully completed the pilot project in January 2011. As a result, 306 MRAPs have been designated for repair/upgrade programs at RRAD. The Air Force will also be sending part of their Maxxpro variant MRAPs to RRAD for reset. The Army MRAP Program Manager intends to increase these programs as MRAPs retrograde from Southwest Asia.
Wait---Stop-Immediate action required
A critical need situation arose and RRAD was called upon to repair 16 MRAP MAXXPRO ambulances in support of pre-deployment training exercises for Soldiers assigned to Fort Bliss. Because of the urgency, the vehicles were airlifted from Kuwait to RRAD in November. The scope of work required technical inspection, ordering materiel and coordinating with appropriate organizations to determine functionality of various specialty components on the vehicles. Because of the complexity of equipment involved, coordination and strict timelines were necessary to guarantee completion of the mission in a timely fashion. MISSION COMPLETE-Fort Bliss, 3/1 AD Unit is now conducting pre-deployment training in preparation for its upcoming Afghanistan mission.
"Our dedicated people accepted the task and successfully completed the mission. Not even late arrival and short turn-around time stood in the way of a successful February delivery to the unit," said Mitchell.
RRAD is continuing to develop shop processes, special tooling, training modules and facility configurations in anticipation of the 306 MRAPs designated for repair at RRAD. This program could be initiated within the next few weeks and once again RRAD will be prepared.
On the horizon
Today's MRAP discussion focuses on repairing a portion OCONUS and returning a portion to the states for repair/upgrade. As the depot source of repair for the MRAP, RRAD is aggressively taking steps to posture the depot to support the MRAP depot program. Working with the MRAP Joint Project Office, TACOM Item Managers and industry, RRAD understands the objective and with our "can do" attitude and business approach we are confident that we will meet or exceed all customer expectations.
As Col. Mitchell stated, "RRAD is open for MRAP business overseas and at home."
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