Department of Army Seal

Supply and Maintenance Division

WASHINGTON DC 20310-0500
6 May 1999
Army Logistician, ALMC
2401 Quarters Road
Ft. Lee, VA 23801-1705

Dear Editor:

I am writing in reference to the article on page 18 in the May-June issue of ALOG, "Combat Service Support—Rising to the Challenge of Shrinking Resources." The article detailed how the Equipment Support Center, Mannheim (ESCM), 51st Maintenance Battalion, in USAREUR has adapted to shrinking resources and an evolving mission while still delivering quality service by adopting the inspect and repair only as necessary (IRON) concept. While the article was well written and certainly highlighted significant accomplishments, I feel that I must take this opportunity to comment on the future direction of Army maintenance policy.

Under the Single Stock Fund and National Maintenance Programs, the focus for national level maintenance is to support the process of repair and return to stock. This national maintenance mission, coupled with a realization that the Army is experiencing declining mean time between maintenance actions for items ordered from stock, due to items being repaired and returned to stock to differing maintenance stand ards, has led the Army to establish a single quality standard for items repaired and returned to stock. The single quality standard for all items repaired and returned to stock will be overhaul, regardless of the maintenance activity performing the maintenance action. Overhaul is defined as maintenance that restores equipment or components to the equivalent useful life of a newly acquired item. This process involves inspection and diagnosis according to the depot maintenance work requirement (DMWR) or similar technical documentation that identifies all components exhibiting wear or age and directs the replacement or adjustment of those items to original equipment specifications.

With the establishment of one quality repair standard—overhaul—reliability will increase, thereby reducing the number of maintenance actions required. Individual repair costs may go up, but overall operating and support costs will be reduced because the number of repair actions will be drastically reduced.

Under this policy change, IRON will no longer be an acceptable concept of maintenance for items repaired and returned to stock. The intent of this change in policy is to ensure that when a field unit pays full AMDF price for an item, regardless of the source of repair, they will receive a part that is repaired to the same quality standard and has a "like new" expected service life.

This policy change is incorporated into the latest version of AR 750-1, which is due for publication and distribution in the first quarter of FY 00.


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Julian A. Sullivan, Jr.
Major General, U.S. Army
Director of Supply and Maintenance