REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. –
Everyone should be a good steward of the government’s resources, but one employee of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command took the responsibility a step further, which could save upward of $2 million.
Packaging Specialist Kevin Threats was the project lead on a package redesign for a new iteration of a mid- and short-range reconnaissance system. His proposed design would reuse containers from the current model to package and ship the new design for unit fielding.
Threats said, “The Soldier Unmanned Aircraft System product support manager reached out and wanted to know if there was any way possible we could utilize some of the same packaging material that they already had in inventory, so they wouldn’t have to purchase all new containers for their next system upgrade.”
In addition to repurposing the packaging and shipping containers, the PSM also asked if the equipment could be consolidated into one container — making it easier for the warfighter to receive the new weapons system.
Threats said their final concept accommodated this request.
“The packaging office presented SUAS with an interior layout design that would allow the usage of one container with all of the equipment that will be required and hand-receipted during the new equipment fielding,” he said. “It will already be completely packaged and presented before they go through the fielding, not 20 to 30 parts all individually packaged.”
The request was a new one for Threats and his coworker Anthony Powell, who said their job traditionally entails reviewing and approving packaging supplied by manufacturers and contractors to ensure they meet military specifications. They do not typically design the packaging.
“We’ve done some small-scale packaging, but never a redesign like this,” he said. “The container is the container, there’s no modifying it. We were looking at the internal dimensions and cushioning usage. We reviewed the parts list and validated the bare dimensions of each item, used a pick-and-pull foam cushioning and illustrated the way the equipment could fit to still provide adequate protection.”
According to the PM office, minor modifications were made to the design Threats and Powell submitted and it is slated to be used during the unit fielding later this year.
Threats said although the request was unique and not part of his traditional scope of duty, he was up to the task and he encouraged other AMCOM employees to do the same, because it ultimately supports the Soldiers.
“Don’t turn down a challenge,” he said. “I wasn't sure it was going to work until we actually went through the process and in the end, I could have said, ‘We can’t make this work’ — and it still may not, we won’t know until it goes through the final testing process — but it was still a cool challenge. So embrace it, whether it is a success or not, because we are all here to support the Soldiers in the field and make it easier for them to get exactly what they need to accomplish their mission.”