By Larry Cruz (HWAD)June 25, 2019
HAWTHORNE, Nev., - As the world's biggest ammunition depot, Hawthorne Army Depot provides the Ammunition Enterprise with the largest storage capability for both critical munitions and non-critical demilitarization stocks. HWAD Quality Assurance Specialists have maintained an aggressive Ammunition Surveillance Program, checking ammunition through periodic inspections, ensuring that all munitions shipped meet material readiness condition codes and are delivered to the Warfighter in a ready condition. At the same time, HWAD routinely meets all required delivery dates, ensuring that munitions arrive at the right place, at the right time.
A key mission at HWAD is demilitarization via open burn/open detonation; wash out, steam out; RF-9 (rotary kiln furnace); and the sawing of munitions. HWAD also processes range scrap and uses Recycling, Renovation and Reuse in support of an environmentally sensitive approach to demilitarization. As the ammunition enterprise's largest demilitarization facility, HWAD demilitarizes more munitions each year than any other Organic Industrial Base installation, effectively reducing the Army's demilitarization stockpile.
Hawthorne stores conventional munitions and monitors their serviceability through ammunition inspections, ensuring stored items are maintained in a material ready condition. This includes elemental mercury stored by the Defense Logistics Agency on behalf of the Department of Defense. HWAD has 1,000s of munitions magazines, 43% of which are occupied, leaving 57% available for future storage requirements. The installation stands ready to outload stored munitions on order, maintaining a robust in/outbound capability thanks to locomotives, docks, pads and hundreds of miles of rail, shipping hundreds of containers by truck or train each day, bound for western ports. HWAD's infrastructure, storage capacity and demilitarization capabilities provide JMC and the Army with the ability to store munitions in support of the Warfighter, ensuring that HWAD remains a strategic asset for JMC and the Ammunition Enterprise.
HWAD also supports the Warfighter by hosting military training to include 58,308 Soldiers between 2001 and 2018. The installation's unique Afghanistan-like terrain and strategic location enable Warfighters to perform a multitude of training opportunities, including high altitude and water borne operations. Most recently, HWAD hosted the regional finals of the Army National Guard's Best Warrior Competition. More than a dozen National Guard Soldiers from across the West converged on HWAD May 21-23 to compete for Best Warrior in Region VII (Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii, Utah, Colorado, California and Guam), with the winner advancing to the National Best Warrior Competition this summer.