Metal Trades, Inc. closed out the month of January 2021 with two major IDIQ/MATO awards from the US Army Watercraft Sustainment Maintenance (AWSM) Program, which is managed by the US Army Contracting Command- Detroit Arsenal (ACC-DTA). The shorthand, straight-to-the-point details announced that:
MTI was awarded two of the three zones that were competed to Industry to include:
- Zone 1 (CONUS Support) for a ceiling value potential of $255 million over the next 5 years, and
- Zone 3 (OCONUS Support) for a ceiling value potential of $155 million over the next 5 years.
It’s great news for the entire MTI family but to fully appreciate the importance of these awards – and how we earned them – it’s helpful to ponder MTI’s capabilities, spirit of innovation, and decades of service to the Army as well as the value we bring to each project.
Maintaining the Army’s Brown-water Navy
Fun fact: the US Army fields more boats than does the US Navy. Known as “brown water” boats, they ply shallow waters such as rivers and coastal channels. Many of the boats in the brown water fleet were designed and built for a 40 year lifespan and a good number of them are approaching or have passed that milestone.
How does a boat remain relevant and effective throughout a 40-decade lifespan and beyond? Superior design plays a part, but expert maintenance is critical. Every three years, these boats must return to a shipyard for regular on-condition cycle maintenance, or OCCM.
MTI: Comprehensive Marine Maintenance
Metal Trades, Inc. is one of the Army’s most trusted OCCM providers, and has been for over 25 years. We have dedicated an entire business division to maintaining and overhauling government boats. MTI is an incumbent on the contract to service certain boats such as the LCU (Landing Craft Utility.) In fact, we lead the field in number of LCUs overhauled at 120 and counting.
OCCM is comprehensive, top-to-bottom service. When boats come in for refit, MTI pulls it into our railway/dry dock. We overhaul the engine. We pull the drive shaft. We replace propellers. We check all electrical systems. We repair and paint the hull.
These are only some of the routine steps in our overhaul process. But it’s the non-routine aspects of OCCM where MTI truly adds the kind of value that keeps the Army coming back.
Capability, Craftsmanship, and Continuous Improvement
First, as we reported in our last edition, MTI’s railway and machine shop are large, capable, and continuously improving. Metal Trades is a turnkey facility, able to anticipate and meet customer requirements from the everyday to the extraordinary. Ours is also a team that does it right the first time, so quality warranty claims are truly rare.
Second, knowledge and experience. Our team includes craftsmen with decades of experience in marine electrical and machining, whose knowledge is sought after throughout their fields. Their intimate familiarity with these boats and their components has led to some impressive maintenance feats.
Innovation through Reverse Engineering
Technology, mission requirements, and threats evolve. 40-year-old components become obsolete, spare parts impossible to find. Not a problem for MTI; our team can easily reverse engineer and fabricate the part required for the system to perform its task as designed. Moreover, our familiarity with the system allows us to question whether the 1980 way of doing things is still the best way. If not, we innovate. In fact, some of our retrofit solutions have become the new standard for these systems, making MTI an official OEM provider.
For these reasons, Army designs and equipment scheduled for retirement are being tasked to keep sailing, because MTI craftsmen and innovations make it possible to do so!
Supporting the Mission, Protecting the Warfighter
MTI is proud to win these IDIQ/MATO awards, as we have won them in years past. But we are not complacent. These are awards we covet and compete for because they help us stay in business and keep craftsmen employed. They allow us to keep doing a job we love. And they enable MTI to fulfill our primary mission: delivering reliable, superior functioning boats to help our warfighters do their jobs and come home safely.
* * *