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Senators try to expand Red River Army Depot's mission

Senators try to expand Red River Army Depot's mission

July 12th, 2018 by Gazette Staff in Texarkana News

Red River Army Depot may take on a new repair program for Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles if a congressional delegation is successful it is pitch.

"In a time when readiness is the Army's top priority, bringing the AMPV to Red River would capitalize on existing capabilities and expertise while ensuring a minimal impact on readiness," states a letter sent by six U.S. senators from three states to Gen. Gustave F. Perna, commander of the Army Materiel Command.

The letter, sent Thursday by Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman R-Ark.; Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, R-Texas; and James Inhofe and James Lankford, R-Okla., lauds the local depot's trained workers, production lines and techincal expertise as reasons for the AMPV program to be housed at Red River.


"In addition to the workforce, Red River has been the Bradley's DSOR (depot source of repair) since the 1980s and the Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence since 2002. These designations, coupled with the 75 percent commonality that AMPV shares with the Bradley, make Red River the most effective and efficient choice for the maintenance and sustainment of this new vehicle."

RRAD has extensive experience and knowledge with BAE Systems, the original equipment manufacturer for the AMPV program, according to the senators.

The program would provide enhanced force protection, survivability, mobility and power generation for the next-generation warfighter, according to a press release.

"Red River's technical experts maintained Army ground combat and tactical systems for multiple generations, representing an invaluable resource that would be extremely costly and time consuming to reproduce at an alternate location," the senators wrote.

"Their extensive experience rotating Bradleys into combat and training environments have endowed them with a firm understanding of the vehicle and the environments where it is employed. Fortunately for the Army, the AMPV is already benefitting from these highly skilled experts' institutional knowledge."

In early March, Red River Army Depot announced a looming reduction in its workforce by 600 jobs because of decreasing workload requirements.

The layoffs began in May and were set to affect "contractor, temporary and term workforce."

RRAD was activated in 1941 and was on the 1995 and 2005 Base Realignment and Closure lists.

According to militaryinstallations.dod.mil, RRAD employs about 4,500 people, though only a small number of them are military. RRAD original mission was as an ammunition plant in 1941. Now, it handles the Army's mission of repair and reconditioning of light tracked and wheeled tactical vehicles.

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