MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Solving a longstanding misfire and safety issue that plagued the tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided and Saber anti-tank missile systems, won an engineering technician award for Maintenance Center Albany’s Civilian-Marine of the Quarter for 2010’s fourth quarter.
Bruce Melcher, project coordinator, Test, Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment Department, MCA, received the award recently at MCA in front of his co-workers and peers.
He implemented a procedure with help from roughly six engineering specialists to test the systems’ hold back fixtures at TMDE. The hold back fixtures were not being calibrated properly to test the systems’ firing mechanisms, which contributed to the misfire and safety issues, he said.
“I didn’t do this by myself,” said the Jacksonville, Fla., native. “I learned a lot of different things from a lot of different people who made it work. We were able to successfully combine knowledge.”
Melcher noted that an equipment specialist, who is responsible for keeping the TOWs operable, called him last summer about the issue and he was put on the project officially.
The engineering technician said it took him roughly two to three months to complete the project and the fixtures are now calibrated or repaired through MCA’s Survey Instrument Calibration Program.”The fixtures have to be calibrated every nine months,” Melcher said. “The advantage of calibrating them here is rapid turnaround and we can do a much more complete evaluation on the fixtures.”Mike Butts, supervisor, Mechanical Calibration, TMDE, said. Since coming to MCA in 2004, Melcher has contributed to the organization’s improvement in many ways.
A retired Marine, Melcher served from 1981-2001 and was stationed here from 1988-1991.
“His background in the Marine Corps with TOW systems was an advantage,” Butts said.
"Bruce’s efforts have made major gains to increase TOW/Saber safety and system readiness.
“Since arriving at MCA, Melcher’s held positions as a fire control instrument technician, calibration technician, work leader and engineering technician. He is presently the project coordinator in support of Mechanical Calibration for Program Manager -Test, Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment Department, Marine Corps Systems Command. In this position, he engineers, tests and writes calibration procedures and technical manuals for the Fleet Marine Corps, teaches and takes on special projects.