NAS-CC FD, CCAD Contractors Conduct Joint Safety Training

by Jose Rodriguez, CCAD Public Affairs

Members of the NAS CC Fire Department secure safety straps to a stacker crane. Courtesy photo. (RELEASED)

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (March 24, 2016) --Most people would balk at the thought of climbing up 80 feet up on a thin ladder in a dimly lit warehouse surrounded by a lattice of protruding metal bars. Yet members of the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi Fire Department along with a team of contract employees from Dematic North America welcomed the chance to practice a rescue inside the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) Automated Storage and Retrieval System.

Held on March 3, 2016 the joint training exercise gave the first responders a chance to examine the complex and difficult to enter the ARAS area. In the event of an accident, rescue personnel need to traverse a very dark restricted space, accessible only by climbing a narrow ladder mounted atop a parts stacker crane, or stacker. The massive stackers are automated machines used to stock and retrieve parts on 18 level-high shelves reassembling the open beams of a skyscraper. Making a rescue even more precarious, mounted next to the ladder is a 480-volt power rail. For both the firefighters and contract personnel, simulating a practice rescue is vital.

The ARAS is located inside the Work In-Process Control Area, or WIPCA, and was installed 26 years ago. It is a material control system supporting inventory, material storage, and material delivery. The system is composed of five unit-load stacker cranes, an automated conveyor, and 24 automated guided vehicles that automatically travel throughout Building 8 delivering parts to CCAD artisans. ARSR interfaces with the Logistics Modernization Program, Complex Assembly Manufacturing Solution, a key component of CCAD’s automated shop floor solution and move towards a paperless production environment. On average ASRS, processes over 800 part picks daily. Dematic North America contract employees maintain and repair the system.

The CCAD Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) seen from the outside. Photo by Jose Rodriguez (RELEASED)

Surrounded by protruding metal bars, a member of the NAS CC Fire Department suspends from a rope high in the CCAD Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). Courtesy photo. (RELEASED)

Rhett Radcliffe, Dematic North America Site Lead, inspects one of the large parts stacker cranes that reach up to 80 feet. The CCAD Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) processes on average over 800 part picks daily. Photo by Jose Rodriguez (RELEASED)

A stacker crane in the narrow dark space between two 80-foot high shelving units. Photo by Jose Rodriguez (RELEASED)

Jeff Click, a Maintenance Technician with Dematic North America, prepares an automatic guided vehicle (AGV) to retrieve parts. There are 24 AGVs at CCAD; some have been operating at CCAD for 26 years. Photo by Jose Rodriguez (RELEASED)


Designated a Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for rotary wing aircraft, Corpus Christi Army Depot ensures aviation readiness through overhaul, repair, modification, retrofit, testing, recapitalization, and modernization of helicopters, engines and components. This effort includes world-wide on-site field maintenance teams, analytical crash investigations and chemical material process facilities. CCAD serves as a depot training base for active duty Army, National Guard, and reserve units. CCAD, as South Texas' largest industrial employer, employs more than 5500 personnel and contractors providing an overall economic impact of more than $1.14 Billon to the local community.