Layoff looms as program ends at depot

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

By Jan. 7 Letterkenny Army Depot (LEAD) will have completed the last of over 20,000 recapped High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV).

Lasting for more than five years, the HMMMV program accomplished many milestones at the depot, including the recognition of two Shingo Prize Medallions. With the end of the program, LEAD will be required to reduce contractor employment by 69 spaces.

A phased reduction has been implemented with the first of the 69 employees possibly being released as early as this week and the final reduction occurring no later than the first week of January 2011.

The impact of the HMMWV draw down will most prominently affect 56 Tiburon/Ramtech employees as well as 13 DynCorp employees. In addition, 26 other contractor personnel positions from the HMMWV program will be reallocated to other cost centers over the next 30 days.

In April 2010, LEAD reduced daily production from 17 HMMWVs per day to four per day and laid off 133 contractor employees. Despite the initial HMMWV reduction, LEAD has continued to add jobs at the depot. The depot's employment has increased to 3,798 from 3,520 in May 2010.

COL Cheri Provancha, LEAD Commander, addressed the workforce in a townhall meeting last week. “We regret the end of this great program,” she said. “I fully understand the disruptions this reduction may cause in the personal lives in our community and I am committed to bringing additional work to the depot to offset this loss.”