The Anniston Munitions Center helps enhance the readiness of the Joint Warfighter through their mission to transport, store and maintain munitions. Located on more than 13,000 acres of Anniston Army Depot, ANMC is the depot’s largest tenant.
The munitions center grew out of one of the depot’s primary missions, when it was established in 1941 as Anniston Ordnance Depot. As the depot’s missions grew, the munitions mission became a directorate and then, in 1998, a separate organization.
“Our goal is to constantly provide responsive and high quality products and service to our worldwide customers, ensuring the warfighter receives the right product at the right place at the right time,” said Jeff Hopkins, transportation officer for ANMC.
ANMC has three directorates – Ammunition Operations, Logistics and Surveillance. Ammunition Operations includes three divisions – Production Management, Munitions and Maintenance (which includes demilitarization), missile maintenance and operations in the Multiple Launch Rocket System Recycling Center. These organizations are responsible for the receipt, storage and maintenance of all munitions within ANMC.
“Demil supports the warfighter by destroying old or obsolete munitions,” said Cassandra Caver, director of Ammunition Operations. “Demil also enhances our storage reform efforts to reduce the footprint of demil material currently stored in igloos.”
The Logistics Directorate manages inventory, transportation and rail support. According to Hopkins, inventory ensures accurate accountability of over 1,200 types of ammunition as well as timely and accurate receipt of assets stored at ANMC. Transportation provides mobility to customers supplying the warfighters.
“We transport anywhere in the world and work with many different businesses and military organizations utilizing several means of transportation – rail, truck, vessel and air. When the warfighter needs their ammunition, we are there to provide it,” said Hopkins. Rail supports both ANMC and ANAD, providing movement of ammunition and tanks throughout the depot.
According to Surveillance Director Dennis Galloway, the Surveillance Directorate conducts periodic inspections of munitions storage, safety in storage and shipping operations.
Throughout its history, ANMC has seen the capabilities and the appearance of conventional munitions change, but the installation’s overall mission – the timely and accurate receipt, storage, issue and demilitarization of the munitions in its care – remains the same. The capabilities of the buildings and personnel within ANMC, however, continue to grow and change with time and with the needs of the military.
Modernization projects abound throughout the Ammunition Limited Area – from bunker renovations to new demilitarization and recycling facilities. The center’s Multiple Launch Rocket System Recycling Center was approved for full-rate production in 2019, giving the Army the ability to reutilize components from demilitarized weapons. New, wider doorways on bunkers enable a variety of munitions to be safely stored until needed. Currently, according to Caver, 40 igloos are being converted from single to double doors.
Additional bunker renovations near the center’s demilitarization area allow the process of careful demolition of outdated or unusable munitions to become more efficient. According to Darrel Tackett, chief of operations for ANMC, by building efficiency into their operations, through modernization efforts and process improvement, the ANMC team is able to surge in times of need, bringing their contingency out-load capacity to nearly 180 containers a day. In recent years, the center has added new missions to their capabilities, as the munitions specialists now test and repair ballistic armor tiles for combat vehicles.
“It is, without question, a distinct honor and privilege for me to be afforded the opportunity to take command of the Anniston Munitions Center. I am well aware of the rich traditions, history and lineage here,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Smith, who took command of ANMC July 1.