Hill and Tooele Depot Build Truck Armor

Hill and Tooele Depot Build Truck Armor

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AP) -- Hill Air Force Base and the Tooele Army Depot have worked together to build armor to cover the cabs of M939 Army trucks.

Tooele is one of six Army bases working to make the armor kits.

"We've been able to meet our production with the help of Hill Air Force Base's (fabrication) shop," said Kathy Anderson, TAD spokeswoman.

The M939 is a 5-ton, six-wheel-drive cargo truck. The truck is not typically armored against improvised explosive devices or small-arms fire.

The Armor Survivability Kit for the M939 is meant to armor the cab to protect the driver and passengers.

For the 309th Maintenance Wing's New Manufacturing and General Support Business Unit, this has been an opportunity to show Tooele and the rest of the DoD what it can do.

"We were able to bring this in without any increase in manpower," said Ken Noorlander, the unit chief. "We were very competitive."

Noorlander said his unit was beginning to make the tools and get materials onto its floor to process within weeks of the February request from Tooele.

"When you're used to dealing with aircraft components, building armor plating is simple," he said.

Hill is responsible for 8,450 machined parts overall, 65 parts in each kit. They are producing about seven to 14 kits per week.

The parts are then sent to Tooele, where the final kits are put together and sent overseas to be installed.

Tooele is responsible for 107 of the 6,000 kits completed nationally.

Hill expects to finish all of the requested labor in the next couple of weeks as long as it receives all the material from Tooele.

The project is supposed to be finished in July. Tooele is paying for the labor hours Hill spends on the project, and the supplies are all provided by the Army depot.

Noorlander said he hopes to help Tooele finish the job faster by taking other fabrication projects to complete the kits. The two organizations are discussing a way to accelerate finishing the project.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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