New gun tube storage building dedicated
For most of its 75 year history, YPG’s bread and butter has been testing tube-launched artillery.
Generations of gun tubes and artillery shells of all calibers have been put through their paces in extreme conditions here, yet oftentimes the tubes have been stored in facilities that are partially or fully exposed to the elements.
Now, a new storage structure is available to extend the service life of these vital pieces of test equipment.
The over 6,000 square foot facility is lean and spare, but will extend the life-span of all manner of gun tubes.
“It’s a very utilitarian structure that does exactly what they want it to do:
keep the tubes out of the elements,” said Bryn Butler, project engineer.
The brainchild of team leader Steve Wilson, a 35-year veteran of the proving ground, the facility is particularly vital now given YPG’s position at the forefront of testing long-range precision fires, the Army’s top modernization priority.
“I felt we needed something to protect these assets for use at Yuma Test Center,” said Wilson. “The attrition rate of gun tubes from the natural environment takes its toll, so it was necessary to protect them from the environment by bringing them indoors.”
“There is a significant workload investment to maintain these assets: Yuma Test Center spends about $166,000 annually for labor hours, materials, and other means of support for gun tubes,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Matthews, YTC Commander. “We have an attrition rate of five to 10 percent for all gun tubes stored outdoors.”
As a result, Matthews continued, the test center has heretofore spent upwards of three-quarters of a million dollars annually on new gun tubes.
In addition to reducing this figure, officials see multiple additional benefits to the facility.
“This is for gun tubes of all calibers, small and large,” said Wilson. “It definitely opens up our capabilities to serve the test community with these important assets.”
“It allows us to consolidate gun
Yuma Test Center Commander Lt. Col. Timothy Matthews speaks at the recent dedication of a new gun tube storage facility at YPG. Long-range precision artillery fires are the Army’s top modernization priority, and YPG testing is at the forefront of this effort. (Photo by Mark Schauer)