McALESTER ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT, Okla. — McAlester's Army Civilian workforce interfaced with Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. James McConville, and Sergeant Major of the Army, Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston, here Jan. 27, demonstrating that people are the foundation of the strategic readiness and power projection of the Army and the Joint Force.
The engagement reinforced how the Joint Munitions Command and MCAAP support Army Readiness while developing a 15-year modernization strategy to ensure the Organic Industrial Base (OIB) is postured to support surge and future force requirements.
The event coincided with MCAAP's quarterly update with JMC Commander, Col. Gavin Gardner, who, along with Command Sergeant Major, Sgt. Maj. Brian Morrison, and MCAAP Commander's Representative, Brian Lott, led the visit.
The MCAAP workforce engaged the CSA and SMA as they toured MCAAP's depot operations out load facility, missile maintenance operations, and artillery production operations.
The CSA and SMA first stopped by MCAAP’s “outload pad,” where munitions are prepared for distribution, to glimpse MCAAP’s deployment and surge capabilities.
MCAAP Director of Depot Operations, Todd Stone, described how MCAAP is capable of meeting its maximum outloading capabilities of 435 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) per day, transporting ammo via both rail and truck. MCAAP demonstrates the capability to meet ramp-up numbers by conducting outload exercises and truck and rail surge exercises.
MCAAP stores more than 460,000 short-tons of Class V munitions (ammunition of all types), valued at almost $15 billion. These munitions are surveilled by more than 30 certified ammunition inspectors, including 15 quality assurance specialists (ammunition surveillance), to ensure safety and readiness.
MCAAP’s workforce demilitarized more than 6,000 short-tons of excess and obsolete ammunition in fiscal year 2020 via open burn-open detonation processes, rotary kiln incineration, and multiple disassembly processes.
The tour then moved to MCAAP's Missile Maintenance Facility.
Area Foreman and Supervisor for the Precision Munitions Division, Tim Easley, showed the CSA and SMA where the Stinger, Maverick, and Chaparral missile systems are tested and recertified by MCAAP’s electronic technicians.
The facility provides U.S. and foreign military sales customer’s worldwide support for their missile systems.
"Having Gen. McConville and SMA Grinston tour the Missile Division at MCAAP left me feeling very honored and with a sense of gratitude, pride and respect," said Easley, "not only for me, but the employees they spoke with, acknowledged and listened to. For two individuals with such great magnitude, taking time out of their busy schedule to visit us was phenomenal."
Over the past 11 years at MCAAP, Easley has advanced from an electronic integrated system mechanic, to an electronic integrated system mechanic leader, and is currently the electronic integrated system mechanic supervisor.
The tour then moved to artillery production operations, where the CSA and SMA viewed the final integrations of Raytheon's Excalibur 155 mm extended-range guided artillery round.
Especially of interest to the warfighter, the round provides accurate first-round effects at all ranges in all weather conditions. "MCAAP's people are a big part of why Excalibur is so incredibly reliable in the field," said Ratheon Site Manager, Michelle Robershaw. "They are diligent, conscientious and mindful; and they've been our partners for a long time."
While at the artillery production facility, the CSA and SMA were also shown how MCAAP is actively leveraging educational and training opportunities to improve core competencies within the workforce.
To humanize the information, Ammunition Analysis Team Chief, Lacy Toby, recounted about MCAAP's leadership development program — Leadership Investment for Tomorrow (LIFT), from a personal perspective.
Toby said that she began her career at MCAAP in 2008 as a security assistant in the pass and ID office. She joined the Ammunition Operations Directorate in 2011, and served in different capacities such as administrative assistant to the director, supply technician, budget/financial analysis, technical writer and program management on two major bomb production lines. Toby was selected for LIFT and successfully completed it in 2019. In January 2020, she selected as the Ammunition Analysis Team.
MCAAP partners with Kiamichi Technology Center (KTC) and Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT), for the LIFT Program, which is conducted in three phases over the course of a year.
"MCAAP's LIFT program identifies and develops leadership talent and preserve corporate knowledge, technical competence and skills through progressive professional development," said Toby. "Through LIFT, the MCAAP workforce improves skills and become more effective employees and future leaders."
Lastly, the 'People' focus of the CSA and SMA visit was underscored by singling out one of MCAAP's top performers, when MCAAP Firefighter and Paramedic, Jeff Thompson, was recognized, and received a CSA challenge coin from Gen. McConville.
Thompson was named MCAAP Emergency Management Services Provider of the Year.
Lott said that Thompson continues to set the standard for EMS not only at MCAAP but throughout JMC and the Army Materiel Command. "He works tirelessly to further the level of his medical care, while taking the time to lift up his teammates, insuring the EMS program for the MCAAP Fire Department is ready to respond to any emergency situation."
Lott added that he was pleased to able to showcase the talent and dedication of MCAAP's workforce and highlight the critical role it performs in strategic readiness to both the CSA and SMA.