Chilean Army Factories and Armories Opens New Industrial Maintenance Center
By Dialogo March 28, 2016
The Chilean Army Factories and Armories (FAMAE) expanded its capabilities and ability to provide logistics support with a new FAMAE Industrial Maintenance Center (CMIF) in the southern city of Punta Arenas. The maintenance complex, which currently covers 1,002 square meters, is the first of two stages planned for the facility.
The final CMIF will cover about 4,000 square meters and have the capacity to perform maintenance on armored equipment for the Chilean Army's Fifth Division. “[This center] enables us to cover maintenance for the entire southern part of the country, delivering complete support on a national level,” explained FAMAE director Army Brigadier General Rony Jara. The new CMIF makes it no longer necessary “to request maintenance in Santiago or abroad,” stated Minister of Defense José Antonio Gómez during the official opening ceremony on January 8th.
The FAMAE is a government-owned company that has supplied the Armed Forces with Military products for more than 200 years. To bolster its mission, the FAMAE is also developing its maintenance capabilities. “It is a strategic, government-owned company that must maintain its manufacturing capabilities to be able to supply items in times of war and develop technological solutions through research,” Brig. Gen. Jara said.
Collocated with the Fifth Division's “Chorrillos” Fourth Armored Brigade, the new center will perform maintenance for the Army’s Line M, which consists of self-propelled M-109 vehicles, M-113 armored Caterpillar transport vehicles, and Mowag armored and wheeled vehicles. The second and final part of CMIF Punta Arenas's plan will ensure the facility is equipped to provide maintenance on all Leopard tank lines, contains a vehicle washing well, and another well for washing Caterpillar vehicles.
Maintenance work performed by the Army consists of:
Scheduled Maintenance, which is performed in accordance with each system’s technical manual;
Basic Recuperation, a process that responds directly to materiel failures and seeks to decrease the unavailability of materiel due to unforeseen failures or unpredictable instances;
Integral Recuperation, which consists of recuperating, modifying, or improving materiel provided to the client, according to the client's parameters.
Specialized personnel have been staffed at the new facilities, which were completed in December 2015 after construction began in March of the same year. The large contingent includes mechanics with a broad knowledge of materiel mechanical systems – M-113, M-109, Mowag, for example – and supply and administrative personnel who are well-versed in logistics and supply management to ensure the new center's needs will be met.
CMIF Punta Arenas is the fifth center built by FAMAE since the expansion process began in 2007. Three of the four Industrial Maintenance Centers in the country are in the northern part: at the First Armored Cavalry Brigade in Arica; the Second Armored Light Infantry in Pozo Almonte; and the Third Armored Brigade in La Concepción de Antofagasta. The other center, which is in Santiago, in the municipality of Talagante, is the only one that performs Integral Recuperation maintenance tasks for armored vehicles, specializing in electronics, optics, and telecommunications.
Currently, the Army, through FAMAE and its nationwide network of centers, performs maintenance on 75 percent of the Army’s armored materiel, in accordance with the F6 Special Maintenance Program, which began in 2013. Its goal between now and 2018 is to provide direct support to 100 percent of the armored equipment.
FAMAE has not only grown its infrastructure throughout the country, but it has also excelled in efficient management. Recently, FAMAE scored a national-best 100 percent in the compliance with transparent and effective management processes, according to the third round of audits on the country's government-owned companies conducted by the Transparency Council.