Victoria company creates mobile military repair shops for Afghanistan
Military vehicle repairs are about to become easier, thanks to one Victoria company.
Clegg Industries is transforming four 20-foot shipping containers into mobile fabrication shops for ManTech International Corp., said John Clegg, Clegg Industries' vice president. These shops on wheels mean on-the-spot repairs for military vehicles such as RG-33s and M-ATVs damaged by explosives in Afghanistan, said Pat Milton, ManTech's program manager. It's an improvement over current practices, which require crews to transport the 52,000-pound damaged vehicle to a shop for repairs, he said.
Clegg, Milton and Ray Clark, a certified welding inspector with ManTech, discussed the project Tuesday at the Victoria Economic Development Corp.'s Victoria Partnership meeting.
ManTech representatives were in Victoria for a production and design review, Milton said, and a look at the under-construction equipment.
The project got its start in February, when the companies entered into contract, Clegg said, and should be complete by summer's end. Milton said ManTech will take the completed units as they become available and ship them via aircraft, likely beginning in late June.
The finished product will be four self-contained shops, complete with diesel generators, welding and hydraulic hose capabilities and more. The units also include air conditioning and heating.
The men declined comment Tuesday morning regarding project costs.
Milton said necessity is what led the company to move forward with the mobile units. As troops pull out of Afghanistan and resources dry up, it is more difficult to make those necessary fixes.
Not only will the shops cut down on wait time - he said some "non-mission capable vehicles" have remained grounded for up to 400 days before being moved - but they also save some cash.
"What we're doing here - the cost saving is enormous," he said. "It's better for the taxpayer, not having to ship it back."
Once the shops are no longer needed in Afghanistan, he said, they can make their way to training centers throughout the United States.
"They won't go to waste," he said. "They really are 'shops in a box.'"