The Army Sustainment Command

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LEXINGTON, Ky.: The Army Sustainment Command - Forward has stepped up its operations to install armor and accessory kits for more than 1,300 vehicles headed to Afghanistan.

The Project Manager-Tactical Vehicles asked the Field Logistics Readiness Division, ASC-Forward, in December 2009 to assist with armor installation on approximately 500 heavy tactical vehicles, said Carmen Madero, FLRD project manager. The completed vehicles would be sent to Afghanistan to support the surge.

The work fell to the Field Logistics Readiness Center, at Lexington, Ky., because of its valuable experience since 2004 in installing armor on tactical vehicles, Madero said.

The mission expanded, however, when the Army requested accessory kits be installed in both heavy tactical vehicles and medium tactical vehicles, Madero said.

The kits include the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS), Counter Remote Control Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (CREW), Blue Force Tracker (BFT), Field C4I Integration kit, Fire Fuel Tank Fire Suppression kit, and the Tanker Armor Module (TAM).

Installing the kits required increased coordination with Project Manager SINGARS, PM CREW and PM BFT offices, which Madero said increased the complexity of the mission.

"This mission is the largest FLRC Lexington has undertaken," said Cash Centers, chief, FLRC Lexington (BAE Systems). "It was imperative that numerous players worked together to accomplish the mission. Everyone worked as a team ensuring that we provide our Soldiers the equipment to keep them safe as they work to complete their mission. After all, that is why we are here and we are all proud of the support we provide."

By the time the mission is complete, an estimated 1,415 pieces of equipment will have been serviced through FLRC Lexington, Centers said. That includes installation of 1,339 SINCGARS, 1,307 CREW and 440 BFT installation kits to 1,356 wheeled vehicles.

The FLRC is capable of running three shifts, seven days a week, if needed. During this mission, the tempo has been adjusted based on the volume of vehicles and shipping schedules, said Henry Meadows, FLRC Lexington deputy chief (BAE Systems).

FLRC Lexington must work with 17 variants of tactical vehicles -- eight HTVs and nine MTVs -- while making adjustments to installing the kits to fit each variant.

Shortened schedules, frequently changing vehicle packages for shipment dates, complexity of installing the kits, accounting for the large number of vehicles arriving to the facility from the original equipment manufacturer, and the large shipments of completed vehicles leaving the facility, all combine to create significant challenges, Meadows said.

Thus far, the facility has completed each of its shipments either on time or ahead of schedule, Meadows said.

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