AT-RAMADI, Iraq --
AT-RAMADI, Iraq (August 9, 2008) –Marines with Combat Logistics Company 111 designed and built a Southwest Asia hut mover, saving the Marine Corps thousands of dollars with each hut moved.
Staff Sgt. James L. Aultman, operations chief, CLC-111, Combat Logistics Battalion 1, took the initiative to design a SWA hut mover made up of two support beams that connect to a 17 ft. spreader bar. The design supports the weight of a 10,000 pound hut when it’s being lifted by a 25 ton crane. “I came up with the design and the welders did the rest,” said Aultman.
“The SWA hut mover saves the Marine Corps money by moving the old ones instead of rebuilding them,” said Sgt. Nathan N. Nitch, heavy equipment non-commissioned officer in charge, CLC-111.
Each SWA hut costs more than $10,000 to build. “It takes 30 Marines to build three SWA huts a day,” said Aultman. The lifter and a working party of five Marines can move one in 30 minutes.
After the support beams are in place, the SWA huts are lifted so Marines can knock out the legs. When the foundation is removed, the huts are loaded on a truck to be relocated for their next use.
The Marine Corps and Army use the SWA huts for offices, living quarters and briefing rooms. “After the huts are moved, all they need is someone to splice the electrical hookup, then they are good to go,” said Cpl. Chris R. Yohe, heavy equipment operator, CLC-111.
Many of the SWA huts are being relocated in preparation to turn the southern part of Camp Ramadi to the Iraqi Army.
“There are 35 more SWA huts that are scheduled to be moved before Combat Logistics Battalion 5 comes to replace us,” said Chief Warrant Officer-2 Robert D. Nielsen, executive officer, CLC-111. “We will give the SWA hut mover to them so they can utilize it.”
“Why waste money rebuilding SWA huts when we have serviceable ones,” said Nielsen. “The Marine Corps has already saved more than $100,000 by using good property instead of being wasteful.”
Since the creation of Aultman’s SWA hut mover, the Marine Corps has saved money and man hours by using the simple design and a handful of motivated Marines.
“The ingenuity of the younger guys makes it possible,” said Nielsen. “They never say no and make stuff happen.”