Armor & Mobility

SEP-OCT 2016

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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COMMANDER'S CORNER We work hard to ensure our team is the best educated, trained and aware workforce to anticipate problems and deliver readiness to the Army anywhere our Army goes. When you call with a problem, expect follow up from the TACOM team. If you don't get follow up, call me. Communications from the field is the most important thing TACOM needs! Your feedback is key -- not everything will go perfectly every time. With nearly 65 percent of all equipment in the Army supported by TACOM, we will run into issues from time to time. I assure you the TACOM team will do everything it can to get answers and deliver results. A&M: From a sustainment perspective, please speak to ways TACOM is addressing key Joint tactical platform life cycles and minimizing challenges associated with them. MG LeMasters: For systems and capabilities under development, TACOM is fully integrated with our supported PEOs and their subordinate Program, Project and Product Managers. This team will ensure thoroughly planned and resourced systems are fielded to the Army, and where appropriate, to Joint Forces. For fielded systems, the TACOM Integrated Logistics Support Center, the PEOs, Defense Logistics Agency, and Army Contracting Command work as an integrated team to provide units across the Army a wide range of support. We find solutions for long lead time repair parts and provide sustainment-level repair teams from our depots and arsenals. We share systemic equipment problems and provide necessary train- ing. TACOM will also analyze Army readiness issues and provide the appropriate guidance in the form of Ground Precautionary Messages, Maintenance Advisory Messages or Safety of Use Messages. Find your nearest TACOM LAR and ask for help! Here are a few examples of how the TACOM team has dealt with readiness issues. A few years ago, the Army started experiencing prob- lems with Bradley Fighting Vehicle Urban Survival Kit (BUSK) hull bat- teries and the Digital Vehicle Distribution Box (DVDB). Average monthly demands spiked for hull batteries over a three-year period by 14 times the normal rate, while DVDB demands doubled. Research and analyses by TACOM equipment specialists, Original Equipment Manufacturers and item managers determined that improper slave starting of the Bradley Fighting Vehicles caused power surges within the electrical and power distribution system that induced premature DVDB fail- ures. Improvements in BUSK hull batteries testing procedures, coupled with packaging and handling of batteries to avoid terminal damage reduced consump- tion and increased their reliability service life. TACOM provided this information to all our LARs to begin unit- level training and released to the field a Maintenance Information Message that clarified Bradley slaving and battery maintenance practices. TACOM LARs worked closely with U.S. Army Europe to develop the Stryker Common Chassis Program of Instruction to train unit mechanics on troubleshooting, repairing and maintaining the Stryker platform. The course provided MOS 91S and 91B system maintain- ers the fundamental skills beyond advanced individual training to perform diagnostic troubleshooting, mal- function isolation and corrective action on the Stryker platforms. This training has been widely regarded as the hallmark of excellence and continues to yield improvements in fleet readiness in USAREUR. In response to SOUM 15-002 regarding a cease fire of M109A6 Pala- dins due to corrosion in the bore evacuator holes of the M284 Cannon Tube, TACOM LARs partnered with the Field Artillery Product Integration Directorate and the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command to field 23 two-person inspection teams to conduct visual inspections of 100 percent of the 544 fielded M109A6 Paladins in the active Army and Army National Guard. The forward positioning of the LAR workforce coupled with the close unit working relationships expe- dited the completion of the inspections and subsequent repair to the fleet. These are just a few of the ways the TACOM team has addressed tactical platform readiness and support issues throughout their fielded life cycles. A&M: In terms of how TACOM is modernizing to stay relevant, please speak to ways the command is facilitating improvements to legacy and implementing newer technology-driven solutions. MG LeMasters: TACOM's principal role is to support Army systems that are fielded to the tactical formations. As technology or threats change, Army equipment may need to be modernized. PEOs develop modernization programs; for example, the next incremental improvements known as Equipment Change Proposals are in the works for M1A2, Bradley M2A3/M3A3 and the Paladin Integrated Management program. These proposed improvements are developed, approved by the Army leadership and executed with the TACOM team fully engaged with the PEO/PM. Like the system hardware, the sustainment system and concept of support is also modified. This is done by a total team effort, where new support requirements are developed that range from repair parts contracts; modifying or updating repair, overhaul and RESET capabili- ties at our organic depots; and working with equipment manufacturers and the PEO/PMs to develop a Materiel Fielding Plan. The TACOM Field Support Operations Directorate's Materiel Fielding Team will execute nearly all new Materiel fielding training across the Army. New equipment training will be delivered; TACOM LARs and SCRs would support units and provide additional support after fielding, and most importantly, provide the direct link for readiness issues from the using unit to TACOM and the PEO/PMs. Anniston Army Depot (ANAD), part of TACOM, conducts work side-by-side with General Dynamics Land Systems employees on Stryker combat vehicles in the installation's Combat Vehicle Repair Facility. The Stryker combat vehicles are repaired and overhauled through a partnership between the two organizations. (Army) www.tacticaldefensemedia.com 12 | Armor & Mobility September/October 2016

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