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News | Sept. 24, 2020

Teamwork makes short work out of long containers

By Tim Hoyle DLA Disposition Services

Strong partnerships between two major subordinate commands of the Defense Logistics Agency helped ensure the safe and economical disposal of 150 helicopter blade containers that had become obsolete.

While the DLA Disposition Services site at San Antonio, Texas, normally supports the DLA Distribution site at nearby Corpus Christi, Jeff Livingston, the manager for DLA Disposition Services sites in the area, said it was more economical to have containers go directly from the Distribution warehouse to a facility that could handle the required mutilation of the items.

“When they ship the boxes to us, we turn around and download it into our yard, process it and in another week we are requesting another truck to pick it up and take to Red River or Anniston to be mutilated,” Livingston said. “When we can ship directly we are saving the government time because by not having to download it and uploaded it one extra time, and we are not paying for two trucks we are just paying for one truck.”

Jeremy Beckwith, the deputy commander for DLA Distribution at Corpus Christi said the containers became excess after a modernization effort for the main rotor blade of the UH-60 Blackhawk fleet. The containers were modified by Army Aviation and Missile Command to accommodate the swept trailing edge of the modernized blade. Beckwith said that after aircraft were retrofitted with a modernized blade, the standard legacy blades were returned to DLA Distribution for recapitalization at the Corpus Christi Army Depot. 

“Once the legacy blades are recapitalized by depot, they are packaged by Distribution employees in the legacy container,” Beckwith said. “An improved container for the modernized blade is now in production, thus these empty containers were deemed excess and directed for disposal.”

These size of containers took eight truckloads to turn in. Beckwith said the process adjustment not only relieved the extra handling and shipping costs but also ensured “the value of the excess containers were passed back to the owning service for AWCF investment is priority programs.”

As a controlled item the containers required mutilation before they could become scrap material. As a demilitarization center, the Centralized Demil Division site at Anniston, Alabama, is well equipped to handle the mutilation required.

Area Manager Reggie McFadden explained that once property like the containers is placed on record at the CDD it is staged to go out to demilitarization contractors located in Odenville, Alabama.

“The property is loaded on a trailer and transported to Odenville, where it is then sheared by the contractor,” McFadden said. “After the property is sheared, it is then placed in the shredder where it is downsized more, making the property unrecognizable.”

Once the process is completed the property belongs to the contractor. McFadden said the contractor is free to sell whatever material is left after the process as the company deems necessary.