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