ANNISTON, Ala. –
The first two vehicles of a proof-of-concept rebuild with Stryker vehicles previously slated for demilitarization were completed in July.
The “rolling chassis” vehicles, as they are known, began as little more than Stryker hulls. Their engines had been removed and various parts cannibalized for other vehicles.
According to Mike Gray, supervisor for Stryker Reset and Refurbish at Anniston Army Depot, they needed more work than the average reset vehicle.
“It requires a lot of parts to reassemble these vehicles, but the result is a vehicle we can proudly say was produced at Anniston,” said Gray.
The two pilot vehicles are part of a foreign military sales program.
“These vehicles were structurally in good condition,” said Gray. “I hope the pilot program proves the lifespan of these vehicles can be extended, under the correct conditions.”
J.B. Ficklen of General Dynamics Land Systems said the additional parts needed for the “rolling chassis” vehicles mean they often look newer than typical reset vehicles.
“They look more like an overhaul than a reset,” he said.
“The concept of bringing these vehicles back from the point of demilitarization led Col. Bill Venable, program manager for the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams, to nickname it Project Phoenix,” said Mark Taylor, the senior logistics manager for the PMO Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Fort Benning, Georgia.
In addition to the two pilot vehicles, 28 additional Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles for the FMS program are being brought back to what Ficklen likes to call a “fully mission capable-plus” condition.
The process is similar to other reset programs - the vehicles are disassembled, parts distributed through the component repair facilities on depot and then reassembled - with one major difference. Each vehicle is being given a new interior paint job, to include interior components.
“Once the FMS vehicles are cleared from the welding shop, they go to the paint shop for internal paint,” said Ficklen, adding that internal paint halts corrosion of the interior of the hull. “We are now looking to add that to all future programs.”
Work on the 30 total FMS vehicles is split between ANAD and GDLS.
Each organization performs the inspections, disassembly and reassembly for their vehicles.
Welding, paint and some component repair are performed by ANAD personnel, while new components are furnished by GDLS.
Once each vehicle is complete, they go to GDLS for final preventative maintenance checks and services, known as PMCS, and shrink wrapping, prior to shipment.
According to Gray, so far, the number of defects on the FMS vehicles is lower for this program. He credits the increase in quality to the awareness required for the work.
“We are taking more components off these vehicles during disassembly and putting more on during assembly because the scope of work is so different,” said Gray. “This causes employees to increase their attention to detail.
Producing FMS vehicles is an important component of maintaining Stryker workload and capabilities, according to Ficklen.
“FMS vehicles maintain the capabilities and ensure ANAD remains the depot source of repair for Stryker vehicles,” he said.