Air Force visits ammo plant, partners talk efficiencies

McALESTER, Okla. — McAlester Army Ammunition Plant showcased its bomb production capabilities during an Air Force visit here recently. 

The visit to McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, or MCAAP, was Col. Scott Bell’s first since becoming the senior materiel leader for the Munitions Sustainment Division at Hill Air Force Base on June 10. 

The purpose of the visit was to tour MCAAP so he could learn more about the various munitions in his portfolio that are produced at the plant for the Air Force.

The visit began with a command brief connecting MCAAP to its headquarters, Joint Munitions Command, and Army Materiel Command, one of the three major commands in the Army. It also covered the plant’s critical capabilities: ammunition production, ammunition and missile maintenance, ammunition demilitarization, logistics operations, and off-site rail maintenance.

While the Air Force accounts for nearly half of the industrial base’s workload, MCAAP Commander, Col. Sean M. Herron, also talked to Bell about the importance of public-private partnership orders completed at the plant.

“In between DoD product runs, we work public-private partnership orders to keep our lines running so when your next order comes in, it’s simply a transition to munitions with a different casing or explosive,” said Herron. “We’re not doing it in place of your work. We’re doing it to augment your work and to keep our rates down by keeping the production lines running.”

One such partnership is with the Sensor Fuzed Weapon. Textron Systems owns the process, but MCAAP employees assemble the weapon. 

During a working lunch, leaders from MCAAP’s Production Planning Division talked to Bell and accompanying Air Force officials about the bomb lines’ capabilities and how MCAAP strives for efficiencies. They also talked about the options for further improving efficiencies.

“You’ve given me a good appreciation of your capabilities and challenges,” Bell said following the overview.

Bell’s tour of MCAAP included Air Force and Navy bomb production facilities; the Sensor Fuzed Weapon facility; Maverick, Stinger and Chaparral missile maintenance facilities; explosives laboratory and the Land Management Office.

“I was extremely impressed with the hard work and dedication of the MCAAP team,” Bell said after returning to Utah. “Our visit provided an outstanding opportunity to see firsthand how the men and women of MCAAP accomplish their mission to support our nation’s warfighters. I look forward to our continued partnership and further improving our joint processes.”

Herron is also new to his organization, having assumed command June 25, and he was pleased to meet with the Air Force, which is the plant’s largest revenue-producing customer, and to showcase its workforce and munitions capabilities.

“These visits are the best of several methods of showcasing the incredible power of the Organic Industrial Base, the fantastic capability the MCAAP provides, and the exceptional dedication of our workforce,” Herron said. “These three elements make up the core of the National Security Insurance Policy, ensuring we are always ready to provide for the Joint warfighter at the point of need.” 

MCAAP is one of 14 installations of the Joint Munitions Command and one of 23 organic industrial base facilities under the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

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