By Scott Prater | Mountaineer staff
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Fort Carson’s new Ammunition Supply Point (ASP) opened its doors in August 2020, but due to restrictions associated with the international pandemic, Army leaders were forced to delay the fanfare that’s usually associated with the opening of such vital facilities.
As the Mountain Post eased into a less restrictive posture recently, however, Army leaders were able to officially open the ASP with a much-deserved grand opening ceremony March 19, 2021.
Maj. Gen. Matthew W. McFarlane, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, joined Army Field Support Battalion-Carson (AFSBN-Carson) leaders, Directorate of Public Works (DPW) officials and community partners to unveil building 9368, just off Wilderness Road.
“This expansion has been needed for over a decade,” McFarlane said prior to cutting a ceremonial ribbon to officially open the ASP.
“(Prior facility) limits caused unnecessary burden on our Soldiers and civilians as we lacked adequate space for Soldiers to turn in ammunition and for staff to store ammunition on site.”
Army leaders identified a need for a new ASP in 2011 and construction began on the site in 2018.
As the Mountain Post’s sole ammunition supply service, the ASP plays a vital role for the 4th Inf. Div., tenant units across the installation and Army National Guard and Reserve units as they conduct readiness training year-round. Every bullet, grenade, artillery shell and explosive used for training on post is supplied by the ASP and its staff. So security, efficiency and convenience of service is paramount.
“This facility issues over 26 million rounds a year,” said McFarlane. “This expansion couldn’t come soon enough as we’ve had all of our brigade combat teams home for the last year as well, so our need for training and throughput at the ASP is incredibly important as we improve our readiness.”
The new facility is not only much larger, it was custom built by a contractor through the DPW to suit the needs of ASP staff and end users, Army units.
“We have a lot more space so we can accommodate more units at one time,” said Alice Gallegos, ASP supervisor, Akima Support Operations. “We went from one garage bay at our old facility to four bays in our residue yard, and we went from one small building to five (garage) bays for our surveillance operation. It allows for a more efficient operation.”
The upgrade also provides some key advantages for ASP staff compared to its predecessor. Besides co-locating the surveillance and residue operations into one geographic location, it allowed staff to move into a modern operations center with the latest information technology and connectivity systems.
“The expansion was completed at a cost of $20 million,” said McFarlane. “Well worth it when you think about the amount of Soldiers’ time saved and in terms of throughput — drawing and turning in ammunition — as well as additional safety.”
Lt. Col. Angel R. Ortiz, commander, AFSBN-Carson, said the new ASP also allows personnel to store over 2,100 lines of ammunition and process over 171 lines of issues and turn-ins for an average of 32 customers per week, a 25-percent increase in capacity.