New gun tube stor­age build­ing ded­i­cated

The Outpost - - Front Page - By Mark Schauer

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)

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