USA — Anniston Army Depot begins M777 reset program

ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. — At the end of April, Annis­ton Army Depot began a new reset pro­gram for M777 medi­um, towed How­itzers with assis­tance from BAE Sys­tems.

David Polk, left, a BAE Sys­tems reset team leader, and Nicholas Hulsey, an Annis­ton Army Depot artillery repair­er, review inspec­tion doc­u­ments for the M777 light towed how­itzer in the installation’s Nichols Indus­tri­al Com­plex.
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The M777 artillery sys­tem was cre­at­ed by BAE to replace the M198, an artillery sys­tem Annis­ton Army Depot has repaired and over­hauled.

In 2011, the instal­la­tion per­formed the first over­haul for the M777 and, in the process, learned not only to repair the How­itzer, but also gained the capa­bil­i­ty to weld with tita­ni­um.

The M777 sys­tem uses tita­ni­um in an effort to reduce weight, while main­tain­ing weapon effec­tive­ness.

“We are learn­ing a lot about how this weapon sys­tem works through this reset process,” said Eric Ben­nett, a depot artillery repair­er super­vi­sor.

This is the first time this sys­tem is being reset at Annis­ton, so rep­re­sen­ta­tives from BAE are on-hand in the shops to teach employ­ees the best way to per­form each step of the reset process.

BAE has been build­ing and repair­ing this sys­tem for many years and we are hop­ing to pick up their work sta­tion process­es,” said Randy Burke, a depot main­te­nance man­age­ment spe­cial­ist. “The depot’s employ­ees are doing all of the touch labor, but BAE has mechan­ics on site to teach their pro­ce­dures.”

Reset­ting these first two sys­tems will prove Annis­ton Army Depot’s abil­i­ty to reset the M777, a nec­es­sary step to tran­si­tion reset work from BAE’s Hat­ties­burg, Miss., oper­a­tion to the depot.

“This process will be part of the Army’s tran­si­tion from con­trac­tor sup­port to organ­ic sup­port of the M777 sys­tem,” said Tom­my Mor­gan of the depot’s Logis­tics and Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Office.

This year, that tran­si­tion has begun with Annis­ton serv­ing as a sub­con­trac­tor for BAE under a direct sales con­tract.

Some com­po­nents of the M777, such as the recoil sys­tem and the hydraulic sys­tem, must be rebuilt on each How­itzer. The rest of the artillery sys­tem is inspect­ed and repaired as need­ed.

“Both of the first two weapons being reset had some bat­tle dam­age on them. The dam­aged parts will be replaced com­plete­ly, which is good expe­ri­ence for our artillery repair­ers,” said Burke.

In addi­tion to the two reset M777s, a sec­ond over­haul is in process for the artillery sys­tem at Annis­ton.

Burke said depot employ­ees plan to spend time dur­ing this over­haul cycle to study each rebuild process in an effort to build effi­cien­cy into the pro­gram.

U.S. Army