News: Iraqi delegation witnesses DCMA’s oversight on Iraqi tanks
Story by Jo Adail Stephenson
UNITED STATES - A delegation of representatives from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense observed first-hand, late last year how Defense Contract Management Agency-General Dynamics Land Systems personnel perform quality assurance inspection and product acceptance on M1A1 Abrams tanks the Iraqi government is procuring.
“This visit reinforced the U.S. commitment to modernizing the Iraqi army to ensure they will be capable of providing their own internal defense,” said Wade McVey, DCMA-GDLS deputy director. “DCMA-GDLS is very proud to be a part of that mission and strives to ensure every combat system leaving this plant is the very
best possible system that can be put into the warfighter’s hands, whether U.S. or an ally.”
The visit to the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio, came about when the Abrams Program Office asked DCMA-GDLS if they would be willing to host several Iraqi army representatives and give them a demonstration of how DCMA personnel inspect their tanks. DCMA-GDLS not only performs contract management for the Abrams but also manages the installation on behalf of the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command.
“It made sense for us to host the visitors. The visit was specifically focused on observing the quality assurance inspection and product acceptance DCMA-GDLS performs,” McVey said. DCMA-GDLS is responsible for contract management/administration, industrial surveillance, product quality assurance, vehicle test and acceptance, and transportation services for the Iraqi tank contract.
During the visit, the Iraqi representatives were provided overview presentations on the facility, the Iraqi tank program and DCMA’s responsibilities from contract administration through end-item acceptance of the M1 tanks they will receive.
Following the presentations, they received a plant tour including the M1 Abrams assembly lines, vehicle test and acceptance process and final preparation and shipping. After the tour concluded, they were given an opportunity to perform a modified end-item final inspection on several of their tanks with DCMA-GDLS personnel.
“The delegation members were very appreciative of the chance to see their own vehicles during this time as they were to provide a report back to the Minister of Defense on the quality of their vehicles upon their return home,” McVey said.
“The result of the visit was allowing the IA personnel to go back to Iraq with positive information that the vehicles GDLS is producing for them are high quality items and are built to the same specifications as U.S. tanks. The visit went extremely well and the Iraqi delegation was appreciative of the experience and opportunity,” McVey said.
Since the original notification of the I-MOD, DCMA-GDLS has had four other Iraqi delegation visits including the Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations in August 2009.