KINGSPORT, Tenn. -- On Jan. 27, Holston Army Ammunition Plant received its first official guest of 2014…and what a guest! Gen. Dennis L. Via, commanding general of Army Materiel Command, made time during his command tour to pay a brief call to the Kingsport, Tenn. explosives plant.

HSAAP government staff and leadership from BAE Systems rolled out the starry, red banner and polished their hardhats to receive Via, the first four-star general to visit HSAAP in nearly a decade.

The group was eager to show Via their progress in modernization and production improvements, and Via was duly impressed with what he saw.

"This is a great example for me to take to Capitol Hill," Via commented about the reactivation of the magnesium nitrate production facility. "I want to emphasize the importance of the industrial base when I meet with the senators and congressmen."

During the tour of BAE's gym and wellness clinic, Via learned that BAE has implemented an incentive program to improve employee wellness. This incentive has helped to remove an average of one health risk from each employee over the course of the program.

"You can't do better than that," Via stated. "You can't improve quality of life better than giving longer life."

Via also made sure to speak with the workforce while he toured the plant. As he passed through, he shook hands and shared greetings with the employees he met.

When meeting the government staff, Via delivered a message of appreciation to the group.

"I want to thank you sincerely for all you do," he said. "You do a great job, and you should know that we at AMC appreciate your efforts."

Finally, the General toured the A2B control room and learned a bit about the relocation from Area A to Area B before he returned to the airport to continue the tour of his command.

Holston Army Ammunition Plant is a government-owned, contractor- operated facility located in Kingsport, Tenn. Since 1942, HSAAP has produced chemical explosives in support of our service members and currently produces explosive fills for every type of ordnance used by the United States Department of Defense.

HSAAP is a subordinate installation of the Joint Munitions Command. From its headquarters at the Rock Island Arsenal, JMC 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.