[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                  February 22, 2008

Corrosion control program 
presented at Fort McCoy

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

      Corrosion is costing the U.S. Department of Defense an estimated $20 billion a year -- with $2 billion in costs associated with Army equipment -- so the Regional Training Site-Maintenance (RTS-Maintenance) at Fort McCoy hosted an open house Feb. 12 about the Army Corrosion Prevention and Control Program for tactical equipment.

Photo: Ed Lukasek (center) of the VSE Corporation explains some of the anticorrosive products available to protect Army equipment during a corrosion presentation. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Ed Lukasek (center) of the VSE Corporation explains some of the anticorrosive products available to protect Army equipment during a corrosion presentation. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

      Maj. Mark Siekman, RTS-Maintenance commandant, said organizational members received a briefing from the VSE Corporation of Alexandria, Va., about the concerns associated with corrosion. He decided to share the opportunity to learn more about the problem and what can be done to prevent/control it with other Army organizations on and off post.

      Several installation organizations, including representatives from Equipment Concentration Site-67 attended, as did personnel from an Army Area Maintenance Support Activity (AMSA) from Wausau, Wis., and an Army Reserve unit from Illinois. Brig. Gen. Rebecca S. Halstead, the chief of the Army Ordnance School, which is located at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., also was briefed about the program during her visit to RTS-Maintenance.

      The Army Ordnance School is the organization that has oversight of many of the maintenance courses that are offered by RTS-Maintenance at Fort McCoy. Siekman said the Army Ordnance School serves active-duty personnel while RTS-Maintenance has a large proportion of Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers attending its courses.

      Representatives from VSE and the Research, Development and Engineering Center of the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armament Command of Warren, Mich., were on hand to brief the program and demonstrate the variety of products available to help combat corrosion. VSE also does a lot of work in conjunction with contracts with the Installation Maintenance Materiel Activity of the Directorate of Logistics. One such project was to help upgrade M-915A cargo trucks with a glider kit program.

      Lou Lawrence, vice president of the VSE Corporation, said the other military services -- the Air Force, the Navy, and the Marine Corps -- have embraced and funded the corrosion-control program. VSE has contracts with many organizations in these services.

      The Army has not fully embraced or funded the program, but VSE has contracts with several Army installations, including Forts Hood (Texas), Polk (La.), Bragg (N.C.), and Okinawa and with the Air Force at Guam.

      "We tailor our programs to fit their needs," Lawrence said. "One product does not fit everyone's needs."

      Ed Lukasek, a Field Service Representative/Quality Assurance specialist for VSE, made several demonstrations, including one with T-32, a rust inhibitor, which can control corrosion on all metals by eliminating moisture containing salt, dirt and air pollutants from the surface of metal to give long-lasting protection.

      The available products also include such things as reusable anti-corrosion covers that can protect metals and elastomeric materials for up to 10 years. Lukasek said anticorrosion cover material can be shaped to fit over a tank-sized vehicle, for example, and protect it in an outdoor equipment yard.

      Corrosion-control programs now are mandated by Army Regulation 750-59, he said.

      "The purpose of the program is to provide support for keeping tactical equipment mission ready and available upon immediate mobilization -- keeping readiness rates up," Lukasek said. "It also reduces the life cycle cost by reducing corrosion."

      Mike Doney, a civilian with 88th Regional Readiness Command AMSA 55 of Eau Claire, Wis., said he attended the demonstration/briefing because his unit has many older pieces of equipment, and he wanted to learn the techniques available to protect them from corrosion.

      Chief Warrant Officer 3 Nichole Rettmann, the maintenance officer for the 416th Engineer Command of Illinois, said she attended the event because her unit has a lot of engineer equipment that may be susceptible to corrosion.

      "We may be able to benefit by using these programs or products to protect our equipment from corrosion," Rettmann said.

      For more information about the Army Corrosion Program for tactical vehicles, contact Ali Baziari, the Army's corrosion program manager for tactical vehicles, at (586) 574-8818 or Greg Bock, his VSE counterpart, at (586) 446-3205.


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