Soldiers in the Kansas National Guard came together Thursday morning to celebrate a milestone for the Advanced Turbine Engine Army Maintenance (ATEAM) program.
A short ceremony was held at the ATEAM facility, located on Fort Riley, to recognize the 1,000th turbine engine rebuild.
The ATEAM facility repairs and rebuilds Air Gas Turbine 1500 M-1 Abrams tank engines, and back them with a substantial quality guarantee.
“What really makes this unique is the 5 year warranty that comes with every one of our engines that come out of this rebuild program, along with a 1,400 hour maintenance,” said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general.
ATEAM was officially designated 1999 and began production in 2000. The facility was created in an effort to reduce high maintenance costs to the National Guard Bureau (NGB), while increasing the operational life of their M-1 Abrams tank fleet.
The ATEAM receives federal funding and has a significant economic impact on both the local and state economies in Kansas. The operation employs 120 Army and National Guardsmen with an annual payroll of $8.3 million. This year, the ATEAM will execute a repair parts budget of almost $52 million. The money will be used to procure parts from manufacturing companies in Kansas.
“We do a lot of business with local businesses such as Topeka Foundry, Exline (Inc.) in Salina, Glendo Corporation (Emporia), all those companies that are around Kansas. We try to shop Kansas First,” said Maj. Luke Foster, ATEAM Shop Supervisor.
The ATEAM supports the NGB, and the Tank Automotive Command’s (TACOM) Foreign Military Sales Program by rebuilding engines and transmissions for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The ATEAM has also produced and shipped hundreds of AGT-1500 turbine engines in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, and Operation Noble Eagle.