January 9, 2013
Jet Edge Inc., St. Michael, Minn., has announced that the U.S. Army's legendary 11th Armored Calvary Regiment (ACR) has installed a Jet Edge precision waterjet cutting system at its home base in Fort Irwin, Calif. The 11th ACR — the Blackhorse Regiment — is well-known for serving as the opposing force in simulated conflicts at the Army's National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin.
The new Mid Rail Gantry waterjet system is operated by the Service & Recovery Section, a support section within the regiment's Maintenance Troop, Regimental Support Squadron (RSS). The 20-soldier section is responsible for machining and welding fabricated parts, as well as providing recovery support to the regiment. In addition to its waterjet, the 11th ACR's shop has CNC milling capability, lathes, and welding machines.
"The decision to incorporate the waterjet into our shop operations was based solely on our daily workload, as the waterjet has helped to expedite our work requests," explained Chief Warrant Officer Two Alphonso L. Ash Jr., who heads the section. "The waterjet also allows our section to fabricate parts that have a long shipping date or high cost, which has increased our operational readiness."
The waterjet is being used primarily to cut metals from aluminum to armored steel with a thickness from 0.125 to 3 in. Previously the soldiers had been cutting those materials by hand with plasma torches, oxyacetylene torches, and shears.