WHINSEC class learns the roots of U.S. combat equipment
By Dialogo November 04, 2013
The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) class of FY 13-14 visited the Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) as part of the Field Studies Program recently. The 62 CGSOC students spent a full day learning the contribution of ANAD to meet operational requirements.
Throughout the day the students received briefings by plant managers on the installations’ numerous capabilities, infrastructure and missions. Students toured the Nicholas Industrial Complex, Anniston Ammunition Center and the Combat Vehicle Repair Facility where M1A1/A2, PALADIN, M88A1/A2 and other combat vehicles, both wheeled and tracked, are completely overhauled. The process consists of completely disassembling a damaged or worn vehicle, repairing or replacing any or all components and reassembling the vehicle to almost new condition for all Army components and the Marine Corps, at a significantly lower cost than a new vehicle.
At the Stryker vehicle facility, students observed the production line from the frame main body with no components to the combat ready vehicle at the test track. ANAD completes 15-20 vehicles a month here.
During the visit to the Small Arms Repair facility, the students observed the testing of the M9 pistol. The tour also included a visit to the overhaul shops for the M2, M240, M249, M16A2 and MK19. “ANAD has the primary Small Arms Rebuild Center for the Department of Defense”, said Donald Evans, ANAD Directorate of Emergency Services. The facility can provide complete overhaul for both individual and crew served weapons. ANAD also demilitarizes small arms, weapons systems components and other items at the request of the service.
Students also stopped at the Turbine Engine facility and Powertrain Flexible facilities.
"I’m impressed with the ANAD capabilities and the impact they have in the current fight", said LTC Abdiel Lezcano from Panama’s Border Patrol. LTC Lezcano is one of 17 partner nation field grade officers attending CGSOC representing eight different countries.
ANAD has been in existence since 1942 when it was utilized as a storage depot. The post has been tasked with a wide range of missions during its operation, currently serving as a maintenance facility. “Going there and getting a chance to see what goes on at the Nicholas Industrial Complex was a great experience for me”, said LTC Milton Alvarado from the Costa Rican Police.
"It's a great experience to visit this facility from the logistical point of view. It allowed us to observe the strategic importance and the industrial capacity to manufacture and maintain combat vehicles and small weapons”, said MAJ Sinuhe Tellez from the Mexican Army. ANAD has 2,444 buildings, 431 miles of roadway, 103 miles of fencing and 38 miles of railroad with a plant replacement value of approximately $2.44 billion. This depot facility operates with an $880 million Operating budget and $307M in depot payroll. The infrastructure is capable of repeated 70-ton combat vehicle traffic and has heavy lift capability within key facilities. ANAD has a live firing range capable of firing weapons up to 155 mm. ANAD is located on 15,246 acres in Calhoun County, Alabama.
ANAD is the designated Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence (CITE) for combat vehicles (tracked and wheeled), artillery (self-propelled and towed), bridging systems, and small caliber weapons (individual and crew served). ANAD performs depot level maintenance on vehicles ranging in size from the Stryker to the 70 ton M1 Abrams Tank and a variety of other types in between, such as the M113 family of tracked vehicles, the M88 Recovery Vehicle, and the M9 Armored Combat Engineer vehicle. With approximately 4,200 total employees, its deployed network, and its strategic location, ANAD can provide worldwide support by air, road, and rail.
CGSOC educates and trains field grade officers to solve problems and lead organizations using Mission Command in a range of Army, joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational operations (JIIM) in complex and uncertain operational environments.
The CGSOC Class of 13-14 is composed of 62 field grade officers representing different branches of the U.S. Army, Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, and eight partner nations: Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, México and Panamá. The Class, which began last July, will graduate in May 2014.
MAJ Ray Santiago is currently a student in the Command and General Staff Officer Class FY 13-14, Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), Fort Benning, Georgia. He is an Army Aviation Officer qualified in UH-60, OH-58, and C-12 Fixed Wing with multiple tours overseas.
SEEING THOSE NUMBERS OF THE U.S. ARMY MILITARY EXPENSES DEFINITELY MAKES ME THINK THAT SOMEDAY, ALL THIS WASTE OF MONEY SO THAT OTHERS CAN LEARN HOW TO KILL THEIR FELLOW MEN, WILL COST THEM VERY, VERY DEARLY, THIS TRAINING CENTER IS NOTHING BUT A SCHOOL TO LEARN HOW TO KILL, AS WAS THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS, AND IN THE END THEIR EXECUTIONERS ARE IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY, JUST LOOK AT THE INCIDENT IN THE LOS ANGELES AIRPORT, TO BE CONTINUED... GREAT ARTICLE AND AS A FORMER CGSOC COURSE STUDENT, I AM GLAD TO SEE THESE COMMENTS