Watervliet Arsenal's Newsletter: Salvo 30 September 2012


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This is the Arsenal's monthly newsletter with a variety of stories and photos of what is happening at the Arsenal. The lead story is of two former Arsenal employees who have or will soon turn 100-years-old.

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Watervliet Arsenal's Newsletter: Salvo 30 September 2012

  1. 1. S ALVO “Service to the Line, On the Line, On Time”Vol. 12, No. 9 U.S. Army Watervliet Arsenal, Watervliet, NY Sept. 30, 2012 Who Built Watervliet? For nearly 200 years, there has been a man or a woman behind every product made. Their stories are in the Arsenal’s DNA. Story on page 3
  2. 2. Page 2 Salvo Sept. 30,, 2012 So, how can you become part of this communications effort to tell our story? Commander’s Many of you are engaging a variety of audiences via Corner social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Join the Arsenal’s social media sites and relay and share the Arsenal’s postings to your sites. But you don’t have to wait until something is new on the Arsenal’s social media sites, you can tell your personal story of your daily experiences on the Arsenal.You have often heard me say during my tenure “Youare too good to be ignored.” In a perfect world, The fact that we machine cannons, mortars, andthat statement requires no further explanation or associated materiel to hundreds of thousandths of anqualification. The problem is, however, we don’t live inch, that we use the highest quality steel, that we justin a perfect world. shipped 100 percent of our product on time, and that we have just added a new machine is not classifiedThroughout our nation’s history, wars start and end, information. But should you have any question or areeconomies rise and fall, and defense budgets go unsure of what information is sensitive in nature, givethrough ebbs and flows. Given those statements of the public affairs officer a call. If he doesn’t know, hefact, our future workload and viability are unknown will check with our security folks.because we are entering an environment where eachone of those statements is impacting our lives. Many of you are involved in community events, from coaching football to participating in Veteran’sAnd so, I ask you that if you truly believe that we are organization events; take every opportunity to tell ourtoo good to be ignored, who else knows this? story to some of the folks you meet.The Arsenal public affairs officer is working very hard These are just a few ideas to ensure that your story isto tell your story to internal Army audiences, as well as told. After all, you are too good to be ignored.to a broader world audience via such communicationefforts as social media, press releases, and communityevents. But at the end of the day, he is only a power ofone … one voice. Mark F. Migaleddi CommandingJust as our manufacturing capability is based upon Manufacturer 6the synergy and integration of all of our efforts, frommachinist to mail clerk, our communications capabilityshould also be based upon all of our efforts and not onone person.Commander, Col. Mark F. Migaleddi The Arsenal Salvo is an authorized monthly publication for members of the DepartmentPublic Affairs Officer, John B. Snyder of Defense. Contents of the Salvo are not necessarily the official views of, or an endorse-Editor, John B. Snyder ment by the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, orPhotographer: John B. Snyder the Watervliet Arsenal.Arsenal Facebook Page @ News may be submitted for publication by sending articles to Public Affairs Officer, 1 Buffington Street, Bldg. 10, Watervliet, NY 12189, or stop by office #102, Bldg. 10,http://on.fb.me/sq3LEm Watervliet Arsenal. The editor may also be reached at (518) 266-5055 or by e-mail: john.b.snyder.civ@mail.mil. The editor reserves the right to edit all information submitted for publication.
  3. 3. Page 3 Salvo Sept. 30, 2012 Even at 100, Arsenal pride has never been forgotten Photo by John B. Snyder Photo by John B. Snyder Ernie Blanchet, who began working at the Arsenal in Frances Brooks joined the Arsenal’s World War II work- 1941, will turn 100-years-old June 2013. Although very force after her husband enlisted and deployed. She proud of his World War II military service, he is just as turned 100-years-old this month. She was one of the Arse- proud of his service at the Arsenal. nal’s “Rosie the Riveters” whose pride still shines bright. By John B. Snyder day’s workforce get a better understanding of the Arsenal’s history, but also to get a renewed sense of Many people might believe that having supported appreciation for what they do today will affect futureour nation’s uniformed men and women continuous- generations of Arsenal workers.ly since the War of 1812 is a pretty significant event, Ernie Blanchet from Troy, N.Y., and Francesbut that statistic may pale in comparison to the fact Brooks from Schenectady, N.Y., stepped out of re-that two former Arsenal employees will soon turn or tirement this month in hopes that their stories willhave recently turned 100-years-old. Given that the help inspire today’s workforce to better understandlife expectancy of someone born in the early 1900s that what they are doing today is bigger than themwas only about 50, living to 100 is truly a remark- — it is about maintaining the Arsenal’s rich historyable achievement. and tradition. It is amazing that as the Arsenal prepares for its Ernie said that his father was once a machinist onupcoming 200th anniversary, which will occur in the Arsenal during World War I and as a kid, he re-July 2013, powerful stories are flowing back to the calls walking along the Erie Canal that once flowedArsenal from the living rooms of former Arsenalemployees. These stories are not only helping to- Story continues on page 4, see Centenarians
  4. 4. Page 4 Salvo Sept. 30, 2012Centenarians cont. ciation, as well as run the Arsenal’s pitch and put golf course. Frances was the epitome of the American icon,through the Arsenal. The Arsenal filled in its part of Rosie the Riveter.the Erie Canal more than 80 years ago. When World War II broke out, she and her hus- As one of 12 children in his family, Ernie found band, Carl, ran a beauty salon and barbershop in thethat he had to go to work at an early age to help sup- Capital District. Business had slowed due to the warport his family. He worked in local textile mills for and when her husband enlisted in 1943, Frances said$12 a week and was even a caddy at the Troy Country she felt compelled to do her part to support the war ef-Club. But he said that those jobs never provided him a fort, as well as to provide for her family.sense of purpose as he went from job to job until 1941. Although she did not have any mechanical train- At age 28, and just months before the Japanese ing, Frances was quickly accepted as one of the moreattack on Pearl Harbor, Ernie landed a job at the than 3,000 women who worked at the Arsenal duringWatervliet Arsenal. World War II. As can be “Things were quiet understood, there was awhen I first arrived, but on “They were some of the best years shortage of able-bodiedDec. 7, 1941, everything of my life. They were truly the men in the Albany areachanged,” Ernie said. good old days!” to support the Arsenal’s“The first day I came to production line andwork after the Japanese Frances Brooks therefore, women, fromattack there were armed all walks of life, wereguards at the gate and ac- welcomed into the Arse-cess between buildings had been tightened.” nal’s workforce. They still are today. What the attack did to the workforce, however, was After a short training period, Frances said she wasthat it brought everyone together as a team, Ernie said. rushed into the production lines as a machine tool op-Within a few months, the Arsenal workforce went erator. There was no time for apprentice training backfrom a few hundred to several thousand workers. then and whatever training she acquired came from the As the workforce grew from one shift to three experienced machinists who worked side-by-side withshifts, working seven-days-a-week, Ernie said there her.was a high sense of pride because everyone knew that After the war ended, Frances joined her husbandeach cannon made meant that more of our Soldiers and reopened the beauty and barber shops. Althoughwould come back home alive. she closed her beauty shop in 1977, she continued to He said that not everyone had an important position work into her 90s.at the Arsenal during World War II, but that everyone When asked how she would define her Arsenalwas important. years, she said, “They were some of the best years of Ernie enlisted in 1944 and served on a U.S. Navy my life. They were truly the good old days!”Destroyer Escort ship until he was discharged after the From the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941war. He came back to the Arsenal after his discharge to the Normandy Invasion in 1944, Ernie, Frances andwhere he worked until he retired in 1971. During the more than 9,000 Arsenal workers manufacturedthose years, his expertise was in quality control but nearly 23,000 cannons with an on-time delivery rate ofsomehow found time to start up an Arsenal Art Asso- 99.6 percent. Those statistics would never be equaled. It’s Coming... 287 days and counting until our 200th Anniversary
  5. 5. Page 5 Salvo Sept. 30, 2012 Arsenal joins the shipping wars By John B. Snyder Eureka! Or was it a blind- ing glimpse of the obvi- ous? Not a day goes by that you After some analysis,can’t read about FedEx, UPS, or they believed that if theythe U.S. Postal Service employing moved the fiber box opera-some money-saving technique that tion from one building intowill make their organizations more the main production build-competitive in the field of shipping. ing, a savings of one-quar- At a small, but important, Ar- ter mile of transportationmy-owned and -operated manufac- could be achieved from theturing center in upstate New York, process.they too are looking hard at their This quarter-mile trans-shipping process to squeeze more portation savings wouldvalue out of its operations. translate to about one-half “In an era of declining defense man-hour of direct laborbudgets, we are reviewing each cy- per product line. Keepingcle of the production process, from in mind the box operationprocurement to shipping, to look handles about 700 productfor efficiencies that may be quickly lines a month, this moveattained with little or no cost to has the potential to haveproduction” said Tim Allard, the a cost savings exceedingWatervliet Arsenal’s Chief of Man- $100,000 a year, as wellufacturing Support Division. One of Allard’s lines of oper-ation is packaging, or more spe- Top: Kevin Chase packaging spindles for immediate shipment.cifically, the box shop operation. According to Chase, no matter theThe box shop operation touches intensity of workload, his operationeach one of the 700 line items has never been backlogged.or product lines that are shipped Left: Kevin Chase, left, and fellowout each month from Watervliet. box operation handler Sam HintonBut for as long as Allard can are unpacking box-making material brought over from another building.remember, and he has worked They moved much of the box opera-at the Arsenal for more than 25 tion during the Arsenal’s annual shut down in August.years, there has never been a re- Photos by John B. Snyderdesign of the box shop operationprocess. as move items through the Arsenal “In addition to getting the prod- Having recently been trained on more quickly. uct faster from the production lines,the Lean Six Sigma process, Allard And so, Koza directed his box there is now no need for specialsaid he knew that if he could find team during the Arsenal’s annual banding or packaging to get thewaste in the process that true sav- shut down last month to begin the product to our location,” Chaseings could quickly be realized in relocation process. One month lat- said.regards to time and money. So, he er, the fiber box operation is up and Given today’s uncertainty inand Steve Koza, the Arsenal’s su- running in the new location. how future defense budgets willpervisor of the box shop operation, Kevin Chase, one of the box play out, there can be no doubtstarted looking at the transportation team members, said the move may that even at the smallest of Armyinvolved to move components to actually be saving more man-hours installations there is a dedicatedthe box shop from the production and other resources than may have workforce who are doing all thatlines that were in separate build- been estimated in the original anal- they can to save the Army and theings. ysis. American taxpayer money.
  6. 6. Page 6 Salvo Sept. 30, 2012 From immigrant to Watervliet’s Face of Strength, a 50-year journey Watervliet Arsenal called Benét Laboratories. By John B. Snyder During these past 50-plus years, Benét Labs has been very good to him, Giuliano said. For nearly 200 years, most Arsenal employees began their ca- “The Benét and Arsenal leadership, such as Dr. Bob Weiglereers here and ended them here. Given the unique and special- and Fred Class, took great care of me in the 1960s to not onlyized skills required of the Arsenal’s workforce, few have sought give me more challenging work at every opportunity, but theythe opportunity to venture off to work at some other Army arsenal also gave me a better education,” Giuliano said. “Benét fund-or depot, nor may the Arsenal leadership want them to. ed my master’s and my doctorate degree in Mechanics from the Some might have thought that being able to raise families at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.”one location was a blessing, His work while at Benétwhile others might have won- Labs has been rich with ac-dered what life would have complishments from writingbeen like if they had worked at numerous publications, attain-some other installation. There ing five U.S. Patents related tois one current employee, how- improving gun systems, to ex-ever, who is living the life of tending his service to forward-both extremes and has been for deployed troops.more than 50 years. Giuliano said that although The year of 1961 was an in- his work at the Arsenal hasteresting year: the first Ameri- been very challenging and ex-can to be launched in space, citing, his service to overseasNavy Cmdr. Alan B. Shepa- troops have been some of therd, shoots up 115 miles into most memorable and reward-the atmosphere; approximate- Photo by John B. Snyder ing of his career.ly 1,200 U.S.-supported anti- What this photo does not capture is the strong sense of pride that Dr. “I have been Benét’s eyesCastro rebels invade Cuba at Giuliano D’Andrea has from the more than 50 years of awards and coins and ears for forward deployedthe Bay of Pigs and are either that were on display. Each award on this table represented some form troops on three occasions,” Gi-killed or captured; the Organi- of support to the warfighter. uliano said. “I have servedzation of Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC is constituted; twice as the science advisor for U.S. commands in Italy as part ofand a young Italian immigrant began work at a research facility the Army’s Southern European Task Force and the U.S. Africanthat would soon become Benét Laboratories. Command, as well as served as the Directory for the U.S. Army Giuliano D’Andrea, who is the Foreign Science & Technology Far East Research Office in Japan.”Science Advisor for Benét Laboratories, lived most of his youth Giuliano listened to the troops’ needs and brought to themin Italy. But when his father immigrated to Connecticut in 1952, “fixes” and new technologies such as the new aviation generalGiuliano followed in 1956. His dad worked in a foundry, which mechanics tool box needed by the 502d Regiment and later ad-was tough, backbreaking work, and he would sometimes bring opted by the U.S. Army and industry, and a small-unmanned aer-Giuliano to the foundry and say, “This is what you will do if you ial vehicle named Pointer and later renamed Raven that becamedon’t stay in school.” part of the U.S. Army arsenal. Two of his latest projects deal Giuliano didn’t need much encouragement after that and so with the modernization of a large caliber recoilless rifle systemthere was little doubt that he would go to college. The question and the fielding of a Waste to Energy Portable System to remedi-was, what should he study given that he spoke little English? ate waste and create energy at forward operating bases.He said he was always good with math and thought that mechan- In 1981, Giuliano was promoted to the position of Director ofical engineering might be the best college route for him. After Research for Benét Labs and held that position until 2011 whenall, how much does one need to speak to do well in engineering he accepted the new Benét Labs Foreign Science & Technologyclasses, or so he thought. Science Advisor position. He breezed through his mechanical engineering studies at Although Giuliano has been continuously employed at the Ar-the University of Bridgeport, Conn., and after graduation began senal since 1961, he doesn’t sound as if he plans to slow down.work at a U.S. Navy weapons lab in Dahlgren, Va., earning about “I will never retire as long as I love doing what I am doing,” Gi-$5,000 a year. uliano said. But in 1961, Giuliano said he yearned to get back to the For his more than 50 years of professional, personal support toNortheast and was delighted when he learned about a job open- our nation’s servicemen and women, D’Andrea is truly a Face ofing at a future Army research center that was standing up on the Strength at the Watervliet Arsenal and in our Army.
  7. 7. Page 7 Salvo Sept. 30, 2012 Photos provided by the Library of Congress and CivilWar.net From left: The 3-inch rifle gun was one of the most widely used and reliable Union guns during the Civil War and a sepia- tone illustration of a Maryland artillery battery depicts the battle of Antietam. From Watervliet to Antietam By Mark Koziol gaged yesterday and last evening Second Battle of Bull Run (Sec- and they are now, Sunday, hard at ond Manassas), and was one of the During the American Civil War, work in the filling of ammunition bloodiest days ever in Americanthe Watervliet Arsenal was very chests for 3” guns, in making of military history.busy manufacturing a variety of implements and equipment and in When the Confederate armiesitems such as saddles, ammo box- packing the supplies, etc.” commanded by Gen. Robert E.es, cannon carriages, and traveling Lee met the armies commandedforges. Which 3-inch gun was the com- by Union Gen. George B. Mc- Stored at the Arsenal Museum mander referring to? Most likely Clellan, there were many differentis a ledger book written during the it was the lightweight, yet power- types of artillery pieces brought towar recording in detail what items ful Griffen 3-inch rifle gun. These bear, including the 3-inch rifle. Itwere made at the Arsenal. For ex- wrought iron guns were sleek, is estimated that the Union had 93ample, the April 1861 record show strong and reinforced artillery tubes three-inch rifles firing against theeight pages of data of production bought in large numbers by the 48 three-inch Confederate rifles.numbers such as: 100 sponges for federal government. They proved It is a logical assumption thatthe 24-pound howitzers; 18 horse to be more accurate, mobile and much of the ammo made at thebridles, collars and halters; 650 superior to larger guns such as the Watervliet Arsenal was on handcanisters filled for 8-inch seacoast 10-pound parrott rifle. that day and used by the Uniondefense guns; and thousands of The unique quality of the artillery batteries. The 3-inch riflelinen cartridge bags used to secure Griffen was that it was a rifled gun gun performed well at Antietam,the ammo fired from the 12, 18, 24, when most artillery units in the firing accurately and often upon the32, and 24-pound artillery pieces. Civil War used smooth bore guns. advancing Confederate forces. In late summer of 1862, the Like the infantry’s Springfield ri- The Union victory came at aArsenal was in full production fles, Griffen’s rifling grooves meant heavy price with high casualtiesemploying close to 2,000 people. it fired its projectile with accuracy, suffered on both sides. The follow-On Aug. 18, 1862, Arsenal Com- efficiency, and with deadly conse- ing listing underscores the heavymander Maj. William A. Thornton quences. toll:wrote to the Chief of Ordnance The 3-inch guns were used ex-in Washington, D.C., Gen. J. W. tensively at the Battle of Antietam Total casualties: 23,582Ripley, about the Arsenal activity. (Sharpsburg) on Sept. 17, 1862. Confederate Killed: 1,512; Wound-Included in the letter was this para- Antietam, the last major engage- ed: 7,816; Captured, missing: 1,844graph: ment of the Maryland Campaign, Union Killed: 2,108; Wounded:“Our men were strenuously en- began on August 16th with the 9,549; Captured, missing: 753
  8. 8. Page 8 Salvo Sept. 30, 2012 When coloring problem areas is good By Mark Ripley • Overview of the area with machine status, part number/operations expected to run with expected Visual Control of work and processes is a subject times of completion (with actual operations/times).we have been talking about a lot lately at the Arsenal.It is a common technique used in Lean companies and • Machine status lights – red, yellow, and green.the theory behind Visual Control is that if somethingis clearly visible or in plain sight – when it’s actually • Operator attendance and assignments.happening - then it will be seen and addressed quickly. • Routine maintenance or 6S checklists with sign- Proper Visual Control should highlight that a offs and Supervisor validation.problem exists, even to someone unfamiliar with thespecifics of the process. Colors help – green = good, Visual Controls should be designed to make manage-yellow = possibly going bad, red = bad. ment of a process easier and the process itself easier for There are several categories of Visual Control: the operator. Most Visual Controls should be worker- managed. Employees performing the work should be Visual Controls that make a process more efficient engaged in the design and upkeep so they can workwith fewer defects - steadily unless something goes wrong. This is called • Tool storage that includes all needed tools and “management by exception.” You don’t have to man- shows when a tool is missing. age the system when it is working; you just have to deal with the issues that come up that interfere with the • A posted “Key Points” sheet that lists the criti- process. cal steps in a process with helpful hints. With the application of Visual Controls comes great • Lines on the floor or wall showing the best responsibility. Managers must respond to abnormali- place to put things. ties quickly and try to ensure they will not occur again. • Reorder points for raw materials or parts. Managers must routinely visit their workplace to re- view the visual controls. Also, we all must be sensitive Visual Controls that show the status of a process - to the fact that a processes “dirty laundry” is out there • Hour-by-hour comparison of planned produc- for all to see. An abnormality indicated by a Visual tion to actual production with issues encoun- Control is an opportunity to see and correct a problem tered and corrective actions (by machine or by you would otherwise never notice until its impact is line). felt.Suicide Prevention Stand Down Day - October 10th 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. -- Building 110 (Town Hall area) We all have a responsibility to take action to pre- Agenda:vent suicide. One of the most critical things we must Commander’s Remarksdo is to defeat the stigma associated with asking for MWR Programs to Promote Wellnesshelp regarding suicide. Substance Abuse The Army has established September as Suicide Safety/VPP - ResiliencyPrevention Month. On October 10th, the Arsenal Breakwill conduct a Suicide Stand-Down Day. The Stand- Employee Assistance ProgramDown theme is “Shoulder to Shoulder, We Stand Up Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainingfor Life.” Suicide Refresher Training (Dr. Hunter, VA Hospital)
  9. 9. Page 9 Salvo Sept. 30, 2012Practice makes perfect ... well, almost The Watervliet Arsenal’s Softball team, Howitzers, placed 2nd Sept. 15. in a North- east Region Softball Tournament that took place at the Picatinny Arsenal. Competi- tion was fierce as teams from New York City and Pennsylvania competed. Kyle Buono, the Arsenal Fitness Pro- gram Specialist, said the team practiced for four weeks leading up to the tournament. One practice a week focused on fielding, hitting, outfield, double plays, pitching and situational hitting. They played four back-to-back, round- robin games leading up to the single- elimination tournament. They made it to the championship game but lost in the finals and got 2nd place with a large trophy. Everybody on the team also received 2nd place plaques and two players on the team received all tournament team plaques (Kyle Buono and Matt Marsh). The other teams that competed were: Fort Hamilton Devil Dogs Brooklyn Marines Picatinny Arsenal Thunder (Champions) Picatinny Arsenal Lighting Photo provided by Kyle BuonoPlayers in the picture from left to right: Jordan Selin, Kyle Buono, Matt Marsh, Josh Desnoy-ers, Zach Kirsch, Tom Pond Jr., Rob Cavanaugh, Chad Peters, Chris Ryan, and Alex Ratigan. Arsenal History Trivia SALVO: Oct. 1999 Elected officials meet on the future of the Arsenal Elected officials representing the region and state met with AMC and Army leaders to discuss the future of the Watervliet Arsenal. The Army Materiel Command’s command- er, Gen. John Coburn, told the delegation that, “Closing the Arsenal is not an option.” A U.S. Senator said, “Today, I reiterated to Gen. Coburn my belief that the Arsenal should remain open and that maintaining a government workforce at the Watervliet is vital to the community.”
  10. 10. Page 10 Salvo Sept. 30, 2012 Life at the Arsenal sometimes flows into the community Photo provided by Arsenal Emergency ServicesThe Watervliet Arsenal Fire Department provided mutual aid support to the City of Cohoes on Sept. 20 from1:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. With the recent placement of the Arsenal’s ladder truck, the Arsenal team was able tohelp save 75 percent of the structure. The Arsenal’s ability to integrate and work closely with local mutual aidpartners and other first responder organizations from the surrounding communities was successfully tested inthis real-world, 5-alarm fire event. Arsenal Town Hall The Honorable Mae D’Agostino, U.S. Dis- trict Court Judge for the Northern District of New York, was our guest speaker this month and she talked about the importance of the Role of Women in Federal Govern- ment. There were also updates on work- load, safety, strategic planning, and Public- Photo provided by Billy Martin Private Partnerships.
  11. 11. Page 11 Salvo Sept. 30, 2012 Arsenal Family Day Photos by John B. Snyder
  12. 12. Page 12 Salvo Sept. 30, 2012Albany County’s Veterans’ Day Parade Monday, 12 NovemberIf you missed your opportunity to support our nation’s Veterans and theArsenal during Memorial Day, you will have another chance to join us this Novem-ber. As you read this, the Arsenal parade committee is already working hard toprepare the Arsenal for the Albany County’s Veterans’ Day Parade down CentralAvenue. In addition to two Arsenal floats, we will have several vehicles from Emer-gency Services, and about 10 vehicles from the Hudson-Mohawk Military VehicleCollectors Club. We need folks to march with us on Monday, 12 November. More info to follow!!! Photos by John B. Snyder IF YOU WISH TO SUPPORT...CALL John Snyder at 266-5055 or Jim Grenier at 266-5605