FORT RILEY, Kan. -- Soldiers were recognized for their dedication and hard work on Fort Riley Thursday during a celebration marking a milestone for the National Guard.
The Kansas National Guard’s Advanced Turbine Engine Army Maintenance (ATEAM) program celebrated the completion of its 1,000th turbine engine rebuild in a ceremony Thursday, May 9, 2013 at the ATEAM facility on the installation.
The facility specializes in the rebuild of Air Gas Turbine 1500 (AGT1500) M1 Abrams tank engines, backed by a sustainment maintenance package for five years or 1,400 hours. The ATEAM has shipped the AGT1500 turbine engines in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, and Operation Noble Eagle.
The ATEAM is federally-funded and as a result, brings a significant economic benefit to the state of Kansas. It is a joint-manufacturing operation that employs 120 Army and Air National Guard Soldiers with an annual payroll of $8.3 million.
Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general, said: "These are the M-1 tank engines. They rebuild them. And so instead of having to go out and buy a new engine each time, what they’re able to do here is basically repair, in many cases, the parts that are damaged and recondition the engine and put it back into service at a much lower cost than what it would be to buy a brand new engine or transmission."
It takes more than 1,000 man hours for soldiers to rebuild each engine and transmission.
In 2013, the ATEAM will execute a repair parts budget of almost $52 million, putting federal dollars to work in the state by procuring parts from Kansas manufacturing companies including Topeka Foundry in Topeka, Exline Incorporated in Salina, Glendo Corporation in Emporia, and Oswald Manufacturing in Herrington.
The ATEAM’s customers include the National Guard Bureau and Tank Automotive Command (TACOM). The facility supports TACOM’s Foreign Military Sales Program by rebuilding engines and transmissions for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The ATEAM is also partnered with Army Material Command as an AGT1500 turbine engine provider.
The ATEAM also rebuilds the tank's X1100-3B cross-drive tank transmission and Full Up Power Packs (FUPPs), exceeding National Maintenance Work Requirement (NMWR) standards. It is the second year of a multi-year program in which they produce FUPPs (engines and transmissions combined) for the Lima, OH tank plant.
In addition to manufacturing, the ATEAM also provides on-site training and field service repair work for National Guard tank units across the country. This cost-effective service substantially reduces sustainment costs while improving equipment readiness.