At the 4th Annual Defense Department Maintenance Symposium and
Exhibition in Charleston, S.C., several manufacturers marketed products
aimed at making it easier for the military services to keep their
equipment in good operating order even while on deployment. Some
The Forward Repair System (FRS)–currently in production
at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.–is a maintenance shop on wheels.
With an on-board crane, air compressor, 30-kilowatt generator, welder
and a compliment of diagnostic and hand tools, the two-person crew
is equipped to perform many maintenance tasks.
The FRS often can replace a vehicle’s power pack on the battlefield,
said Bill Peiffer, production manager. The need to drag the vehicle
back to the unit collection point is eliminated, he said.
The FRS currently is carried by a palletized load system (PLS)
truck, permitting it to go anywhere the M1 tank can go and be operating
within five minutes. New versions are under construction for use
by the Initial Brigade Combat Teams being formed at Fort Lewis,
Wash., which will be mounted on Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical
Trucks-Load Handling Systems (HEMTT-LHS). Unlike the PLS, the HEMTT
is transportable on C-130 aircraft.
The Trailer-Mounted Weld Shop System (TMWSS)–built
by Power Manufacturing, of Atoka, Tenn.–is a self-contained
unit that can do both welding and cutting of metal in remote field
locations. TMWSS is "the next-generation Army weld shop,"
said Howard Lewis, contracting officer at the U.S. Army’s
Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, in Rock Island, Ill. Production
of the new shops was scheduled to begin in January, Lewis said.
Like the FRS, the TMWSS can be transported on a C-130. It includes
its own diesel engine, air compressor, grinder, drill, vise, welding
apparel and consumables, gas cylinders, slide-mounted toolboxes,
weld curtains and work lights.
The manufacturer provides 24-hour product support via e-mail and
a direct-dial 800 telephone number. It is in the process of establishing
an on-line Web site, with operators’ manuals, trouble-shooting
procedures and frequently asked questions. Company officials promise
24-hour domestic delivery and 72-hour international delivery of
spare and replacement parts.
Mobil Delvac 1, a high-performance synthetic, heavy-duty
diesel oil, replaces three kinds of motor fluid, according to Mobil
executive Dave Smith. The product–made by Exxon Mobil Corporation,
headquartered in Irving, Texas–can be used in automotive transmissions,
hydraulic systems and engines, Smith explained.
"With Delvac 1, you can go on to the battlefield with one
fluid, rather than three," he said. "That really reduces
the logistic footprint."
Delvac 1 also performs well in the rough conditions that vehicles
encounter on deployment, Smith said. Because of its relatively high
viscosity rate, it provides a better protective film at higher temperatures
than conventional oils, he explained. Delvac 1 also remains fluid
at sub-zero temperatures, providing rapid cold-engine start ups
and warm ups, he noted.
Delvac 1 is recommended for diesel- and gasoline-powered fleet
vehicles, including over-the-road and off-road utility and combat