Corpus Christi Army Depot leaders, staff and industry partners took part in a ceremony celebrating CCAD’s engine milestone completion, here, March 14.
The ceremony marked CCAD’s success in servicing 10,000 T700 engines, which were first inducted into the depot in 2001 after partnering with General Electric Aviation in 2000. The milestone is based on the Army’s 2004 single-fleet plan initiative to have the T700 in all of its UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache helicopters, according to a GE Aviation press release.
From the beginning, GE Aviation has worked tirelessly in support of CCAD to help complete their goals by providing onsite technical, engineering and logistics services, and monitoring and supplying T700 spare parts to ensure adequate inventory, according to the same press release.
“We work closely with the CCAD artisans as (the engines) are opened up by engineering teams to figure out what materials are needed to perform the overhaul quickly… to get it back out into the field to the warfighter,” said Cristina Seda-Hoelle, vice president and general manager, GE Aviation.
Army warfighters’ success are dependent on the quality and excellence of each engine produced at CCAD.
“I tell you every day that we align ourselves to the warfighter. Because if we are not doing it for him and we’re not doing it for her, I would ask, why are you (at CCAD)? You have to reflect on this,” said Col. Gail Atkins, commander, CCAD.
Atkins recounted an experience from one of her mentors, Steve, who is an Army pilot, to CCAD employees during the ceremony, giving them an understanding of how the work they do and the engines they produce impact the warfighter.
An Army attack weapons team, flying in Apache helicopters, had to react to enemy contact outside of Baghdad. None of the pilots knew how bad the situation was, said Atkins, and never questioned for a second the weapons system they were jumping inside of.
Throughout more than 12 hours of fighting, one of the Apaches sustained bullet damage to one of its engines, she added. Even with the damage, the engine continued to provide enough power for the pilot to keep fighting.
The mission was a success and what the pilot remembered most from it was “the confidence in that weapons system that he was flying and fighting with that day,” said Atkins.
Atkins said it’s the depot employees’ commitment to excellence and the relationship with our industry partners that allow CCAD to celebrate rolling out 10,000 engines in support of the warfighter.
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