United States Military Academy West Point Cadets Visit Holston AAP
June 15, 2012
KINGSPORT, Tenn. -- Holston Army Ammunition Plant hosted a group of West Point cadets from the United States Military Academy on June 7. The students learned about the chemistry of explosives including synthesis, properties, manufacture, and detection.
Upon arrival, they were ready to hear and experience everything.
Before the "official" start of their day, the students were already full of questions as they made their way to the Research and Development labs where they listened to an overall brief about Holston and, more specifically, about products and ingredients used at Holston.
The cadets discussed formulation development activities, including modeling, currently taking place at Holston. Following that, more discussions evolved regarding Holston's analytical and testing capabilities for explosives.
After lunch, the students toured the production area. The students and their instructor, Andy Biaglow, entered several operating buildings where they could see and learn about explosives production activities. Then they took a windshield tour of the rest of the plant.
The next stop was the explosives demonstrations. The cadets saw various explosives detonated and saw how each reacted. Along with watching and hearing the difference between explosives, they learned about the development of insensitive munitions at Holston. The full story of IMX-101, the first of several insensitive munitions developed by BAE Systems at Holston Army Ammunition Plant, impressed the group. They wanted to know more about insensitive munitions and what else might be in development.
Students arrived at the R&D labs for a wrap-up session. It was obvious that the day had been a success for the students and their instructor, as well as their hosts. The students were still asking questions and were excited even after a long day of hearing more information than most could absorb. Some students expressed an interest to work at Holston in the future.
Holston Army Ammunition Plant manufactures a wide range of secondary detonating explosives including RDX. Research and development plays a vital role in the development and production of new products to meet the current and future needs of the warfighter.
From its headquarters in Rock Island, Ill., Joint Munitions Command operates a nationwide network of conventional ammunition manufacturing plants and storage depots, and provides on-site ammunition experts to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed. JMC's customers are U.S. forces of all military services, other U.S. Government agencies, and allied nations.