Media Day at Anniston Army Depot
A local installation with a vital role in our nation’s defense mission opens its doors for its annual Media Day. The Anniston Army Depot welcomed reporters and photographers to the closed military installation, allowing the media to witness the work going on behind the depot's gates. Depot Commander Colonel Brent Bolander briefed the media about the facility’s recent achievements and great expectations for the future. Bolander says today the public will see why the depot workforce believes in what they do and will better understand how they do their work. One of the first stops on the tour of the facility is the area dedicated to restoring combat vehicles-the large scale abrasive blast booths. Industrial Equipment Operator Matthew Martin who works in what they call the spinner hanger shares a little about how they examine the vehicle for defects, clean it, and repair it. Martin says he is committed to completing each run of vehicles. He says it’s because once all of the components are returned to proper working condition they become ready for deployment. Fellow employee and Heavy Mobile Equipment Supervisor Michael Rogers says his department just finished work on battle damaged vehicles. And over at the Center of Excellence for Small Arms Division Chief Jeff Bonner says the 4-year-old new facility possesses the skills, and equipment necessary to overhaul weapons for all branches of the Armed Forces. The center is 86,000 square feet and is climate controlled. Heavy Mobile Equipment Mechanic Supervisor Mark Epps who works on the Stryker family of vehicles says the main reason he is at the depot is to support the warfighter. The tour completed with a visit to the Open Burn Unit where they demilitarize ammunition. De-Mil Operations Supervisor Reggie Smith says that their facility works in accordance with the scope of work within the depot. Anniston Army Depot is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and occupies more than 25 square miles of land. The manufacturing complex employs approximately 2,700 Army civilians and 680 contractors.