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Senator Akaka Says Mahalo (Thank You) to Marine Corps’ Corrosion Prevention and Control Efforts

By Ms. Dedra Jones | | August 15, 2007

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The corrosive effects of humidity, sea air and sea water can be devastating under the Marine Corps’ unique operating environments. As a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Chairman of its Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee, Hawaii’s Sen. Daniel Akaka’s active voice brings attention to the problem of corrosion and the development of corrosion abatement programs. Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) answers that call with its Corrosion Prevention and Control (CPAC) program.

“Mahalo (thank you) for your hard work and dedication in promoting corrosion prevention and control efforts,” Sen. Akaka said. “Corrosion is a costly program, and it is one of the largest costs in the life cycle of weapons systems.”

Sen. Akaka extended these remarks to Marines, contractors and civilians during the Aug. 15 ribbon-cutting dedication at Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), Kaneohe Bay. This occasion celebrated the opening of a new Corrosion Rehabilitation Facility (CRF), Vehicle Wash Rack system and Controlled Humidity Protection (CHP) storage facility.

“The Marine Corps’ CPAC strategies and efforts are not only considered a frontrunner, but the model program throughout the Department of Defense,” said Col. Donald Liles, Commanding Officer of Combat Service Support Group 3 (CSSG-3). “This has been accomplished by the great support from MCSC, and specifically the CPAC Program Manager’s office.”

Surrounded by sea water, Kaneohe Bay is an ideal location for the newest CPAC full-service facility. MCBH Kaneohe Bay’s CRF facility is similar to the ones located on Okinawa, Japan; Camp Pendleton, Calif. and Camp Lejeune, N.C. Prior to the establishment of this facility, any equipment requiring extensive rehabilitation from corrosion-induced degradation had to be shipped to the continental United States.

“A lot of the equipment must be taken care of, or we are going to lose it,” said Hank Porterfield, MCSC’s CPAC Program Manager. “This is truly a joint effort as the CPAC program assumes the managerial responsibilities of corrosion control while CSSG continues to house these facilities under its command. This partnership will streamline the Marine Corps corrosion rehabilitation efforts by mitigating oxidization damage of our equipment in a more efficient manner.”

The cost benefit of corrosion prevention and control increases the life span of Marine Corps tactical assets exposed to such environmental conditions as humidity, sea water and sea air. In addition to the greater return on investment, this facility increases Marine Corps readiness by reducing maintenance time.

“Equipment availability has been dramatically increased by co-locating these CPAC facilities with the Marine Air-Ground Task Forces in Hawaii,” stated CSSG-3’s Commanding Officer.

“We here at Kaneohe Bay now have the four tools necessary to completely combat corrosion,” Porterfield said. “This is especially important to the Marine forces, which this is all about. Once this facility is fully-operational, the number of assets treated here will increase significantly. A similar facility at Camp Pendleton treats some 1,300 assets per year.”

This CPAC facility has four tools to fight corrosion, and Sen. Akaka joined a walking tour of them. With its high-pressure water system, the new Vehicle Wash Rack strips the elements that produce corrosion such as salt and volcanic ashes. Next, the onsite Corrosion Service Team provides hands-on care to all the combat and combat support equipment requiring corrosion prevention treatment. The new CRF serves as the third tool to refurbish equipment classified as Category 3 or Category 4. An asset is rated on a five category system.

Category 1 is a piece of equipment in pristine condition and needs only protection from the environmental elements. Category 5 is a piece of equipment classified as damaged beyond repair. A CPAC facility like MCBH Kaneohe Bay will treat equipment ideal for larger-scale corrosion control treatment. Lastly, the new CHP storage facility houses treated equipment in an environment where the humidity level is maintained below 40 percent, 80 percent of the time, to prevent corrosion.

Porterfield has built the CPAC program from a $650K to a $22 million funded initiative. Based on the remarks during the CPAC dedication, Marine Corps leadership is making such corrosion control facilities operational. The last three years have been a model of such leadership.

A supportive Sen. Akaka expressed hopes that Kaneohe Bay will become a model for the United States Marine Corps and throughout the Department of Defense


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