KINGSPORT, Tenn. -- On March 5, the Honorable Katrina McFarland, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, and the Honorable Heidi Shyu, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, along with other senior officials from the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, and BAE Systems visited Holston Army Ammunition Plant in Kingsport, Tenn. Officials were on site to review Holston's modernization successes and the ongoing projects that are updating the 1940s-era ammunition plant.

"This is a rare opportunity for Holston to have every level of the funding chain [represented], including Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Program Executive Office for Ammunition, and Army Contracting Command," said Scott Shelton, supervisory chemical engineer for the Holston government staff.

During a bus tour of the 6,000-acre plant, visitors saw new and renovated structures, such as the magnesium nitrate facility and the melt-cast facility, which produces insensitive munitions.

Dignitaries also entered production facilities to see the chemical processes first hand.

Both McFarland and Shyu emerged from production facilities with smiles, describing the experience as extremely informative.

"This visit is very beneficial to Holston," Joe Kennedy, commander's representative for Holston commented, "because it showcases our successes in modernization for the people who enable our development."

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

Holston is a subordinate installation of the Joint Munitions Command. 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.