Story by Jennifer Bacchus on 02/21/2019ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Dr. Mark T. Esper, the Secretary of the Army, toured Anniston Army Depot and Red River Army Depot Wednesday.
Esper said the tours helped him gain a better understanding of the Army's organic industrial base and these two locations in particular were chosen because of their potential to repair the next generation of combat vehicles.
"A key part of the readiness of the force is making sure we have all the combat vehicles assigned to the Army ready to go at a moment's notice," he said.
Esper viewed the depot's repair and overhaul operations for combat vehicles and turbine engines during his visit and received a brief overview of small arms repair and overhaul as well.
"It's a really well-qualified, enthusiastic workforce; excited about their work, proud of what they do," Esper said of the employees he met on the shop floors. "I was very impressed."
He shared with members of the media the Army's vision and how the depots and arsenals throughout Army Materiel Command fit into that vision.
"A critical part of our ability to achieve the Army Vision...is the industrial base of the Army," said Esper. "That includes depots like this one here at Anniston."
Throughout the tour, Esper interacted with employees in the shops, even testing his skills at welding in the Turbine Engine Facility.
Col. Joel Warhurst, ANAD's commander, enjoyed having the opportunity to demonstrate the installation's capabilities to the Army leader.
"Anniston Army Depot was pleased to showcase the work our artisans perform every day in support of Army readiness. As the Secretary of the Army noted, our workforce is enthusiastic about ensuring our war fighters have the equipment they need where and when it is needed," he said.