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U.S. Army Soldier & Biological Chemical Command
U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Chief, Public Affairs Office
(508) 233-5340

Date: February 12, 2001
No: 01-11

Natick Nails "Hammer Award"..Again

NATICK, Mass. -- The Aerial Delivery Engineering Support Team for Airdrop Loads was presented with a Hammer Award at the Conference Center Jan. 31.

Maj. Gen. John Doesburg, commander of the U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command, presented an encased hammer and certificates to the team members for their efforts in saving tax dollars while developing a better product.

The award was established in 1993 to recognize teams of government employees who have significantly contributed to the president's National Performance Review. The Hammer Award program ended at the close of the Clinton-Gore administration.

Principles of the performance review include putting customers first, reducing bureaucracy, demonstration of bottom-line savings and strong partnerships.

"Natick has been very successful in receiving this award. Tens of millions of dollars have been saved over the years of Hammer Awards here," Doesburg said. "This award isn't reduced because the partnership has disbanded. This is no small feat."

He said the award is important because government can be more efficient and productive. Employees discover that their programs aren't cost-effective, but they manage to find a way to do the job better.

In this case, the team the improved two vital components for heavy equipment airdrop--the extraction force transfer coupling and platform tandem/suspension links.

Upon learning about manufacturing errors, the team proposed a plan to repair the items at about one-third the cost of procuring a new item instead of scrapping the parts. Based on the total number of items, the decision saved a potential $1.25 million from purchasing new components and the elimination of separate contract actions and burdensome required field/depot modifications.

The effort reduced the potential critical shortages for airborne and Special Forces units because of defective parts used for extraction from aircraft and recovery of heavy airdrop loads and equipment.

The team members are Tamara Brunk, Steve Manos, Dennis Crockett, Paul Gananian, Jeff Campbell, Bill Letourneau, Randy Natches, Ralph Ruth, Ed Spaulding, Junior Christmas, George Young and Richard Erikson. Team member George Laliberte has retired.

Natick is part of the U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM). For more information about SBCCOM or the Soldier Systems Center (Natick), please visit our website at