Getting the Drop on Dedication
Here at Patterson Pope, we are storage experts. We’ve been in this business a long time and know quite a bit about the variety of products that are available to solve a wide range of storage challenges. What’s most exciting about our position is our endless opportunities to meet with people in different industries, with different organizations and different ways of operating. Naturally, they all have different perspectives. While we’re experts in what we do, our clients are always the experts in their world. Those partnerships are always growing, and they’re always a thrill.
When it comes to jobs, there aren’t many as thrilling as being a paratrooper for the U.S. Military. It takes bravery, gusto and guts to be one of that lot. While we can’t all claim that same level of any of those traits, we’re happy to offer our experience to make even that operation more of a success. How? Well, it’s an interesting story.
This particular client is an Army Reserve unit in Georgia. At this facility, they are responsible for packing and delivering parachutes for our servicemen and women all over the world. “The mission of this unit is to pack and prepare bundles of supplies, including parachutes, which are loaded onto planes and air-dropped in remote regions throughout the world,” said Bob Tyler, a Patterson Pope sales representative who’s worked with the unit.
An Opportunity to Support the Mission
Tyler, who is well versed in storage projects for military installations, said his eyes lit up when he walked into this particular facility. “I saw parachutes everywhere and quickly realized these soldiers operate a turnkey parachute packing facility. Their responsibility includes all phases of parachute packing and transportation. I noticed inspection tables, packing tables and a drying tower. All their packed chutes were stacked inside cardboard containers, sitting on skids, and some of those were loaded on pallet racking.”
With these observations in mind, Tyler and the facility’s CW2 (Chief Warrant Officer 2) saw that there were opportunities to make immediate improvements. There were challenges concerning capacity, space, security and parachute protection.
The solution was an amazing product from Spacesaver – the metal Parachute Container. Designed with a capacity of (42) T-11 parachutes, it’s made of welded steel, is forklift accessible from every side, and accommodates heavy-duty padlocks. The facility in Georgia purchased 48 large containers. The containers increased capacity, made better use of their space and eliminated all the security and parachute protection concerns.
“There were a lot of benefits of going this way,” said Tyler. “We allowed the unit to dismantle all of their pallet racking. Stacking the parachute containers three high is more effective. We improved their operation significantly, especially from a logistical standpoint. The Spacesaver containers offer 35 percent more capacity; they’re also easier to load and unload. By purchasing these containers, this unit has also increased the number of chutes that can be transported around the country on their trucks. When they receive an order to transport the packed chutes, they pull the containers down, secure the panels with heavy duty padlocks and load the truck. Inventory assessments, keeping track of pack dates and tracking the chutes throughout their network is also easier by simply adding number plates to each container.”
In addition, four sections of Spacesaver Cantilever Parachute Racks were also installed. These hold parachutes that are not circulated through the network.
"We allowed the unit to dismantle all of their pallet racking. Stacking the parachute containers three high is more effective. We improved their operation significantly, especially from a logistical standpoint. The Spacesaver containers offer 35 percent more capacity; they’re also easier to load and unload."
Always Ready for the Next Mission
The number of paratroopers in the U.S. Military has gone up since they made their debut during World War I. Missions across the world continue. Reserve Units across the globe make jumps, day or night. Whether before they’ve ever been used or after they’ve “popped” (been used), a significant number of parachutes for the Reserves comes back to this facility and placed in a 100-ft. high “drying tower.” This where the shakeouts and inspections occur. Afterwards, they are repacked and loaded into the Spacesaver Parachute Storage containers and readied for their next mission. It’s a simple, straightforward process. Operational excellence is, after all, the military way.
“A lot of the work we do with the military comes from word-of-mouth and past experiences,” added Tyler. “There’s an inordinate amount of churn on the bases. They call it Permanent Change of Station, or ‘PCS.’ When our servicemen and women go to a new base, they’ll often call us up and ask us to replicate a project we’ve done elsewhere, or they’ll ask us to look at a new application.”
Knowing that we, in some small way, help the U.S. Military perform its heroic duties around the world on a daily basis is a pretty awesome feeling. It’s the kind of “stuff” that drives us.
For more information on this project, check out our Case Study.
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