ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. - One of the Army leaders responsible for demilitarization of ammunition visited the Anniston Munitions Center.

Lt. Col. Johnny Figueroa, Product Manager-Demil, toured Anniston's Missile Recycling Center Dec. 4.

"This is enlightening - big time," Figueroa remarked as he toured the center.

Among those who accompanied Figueroa on the tour was Lt. Col. Duncan MacMullen, Anniston Munitions Center's Commander, and Clyde Hill, munitions operator, guided missiles supervisor, for ANMC.

PM Demil is a subordinate of Project Manager for Joint Services, all underneath the leadership of Program Executive Office-Ammunition, which is led by Brig. Gen. William N. Phillips, who also serves as the commanding general of the Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command, headquartered in Picatinny, N.J.

On this particular day, Figueroa had the opportunity to witness the demil of several Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided (TOW) missiles.

According to Anniston officials, 18 operators work to break down the missile into several recyclable parts including copper, steel, and aluminum parts. It's been the worker's job since 2003.

"The aluminum that is recycled is a 90 percent aluminum grade. That's considered grade A, or high quality aluminum," said Hill.

The large,metal bin outside of the recycling center is filled within two or three days, according to Hill. The propellant that was once inside the missiles is also recovered and placed in storage for future use.

Figueroa left the recycling center impressed with its mission.

"This was great to see this operation from the beginning to the end. That's how life cycle works," he said. "The operations also show how much we care for the environment by reutilizing our resources. Overall, very good."

Lean Six Sigma also played an important role in how successful the recycling center works according to Figueroa.

"Even though the topic or word was not brought up, it is evident how they operate using Lean Six Sigma," he said.

Anniston Munitions Center is a subordinate installation of the Joint Munitions Command, headquartered in Rock Island, Ill. JMC manufactures, procures, stores, issues and demilitarizes conventional ammunition for all U.S. military services and selected non-Department of Defense customers. JMC serves as DOD's field operating agency for the Single Manager for Conventional Ammunition mission.