MCALESTER ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT, Okla. — Col. Michael F. Hammond assumed command of McAlester Army Ammunition Plant (MCAAP) during the traditional ceremony of passing of the unit colors, performed here indoors in front of special guests and family, June 22.
When previous MCAAP Commander Col. Shane M. Upton deployed to the Middle East in January, MCAAP Civilian Deputy Brian Lott stepped up to serve as the commander's representative.
Commanding General, Joint Munitions Command, Brig. Gen. Gavin J. Gardner, served as the hosting official for the event. "Today, we thank Brian Lott, for the outstanding stewardship he has provided during the interim between commanders, and also recognize the amazing work performed by MCAAP's people." said Gardner.
Since January, the MCAAP team has hosted dozens highly-visible visits, including Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. James McConville, and Sergeant Major of the Army, Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston.
"MCAAP’s workforce demonstrated in a very professional way to the CSA and SMA, and to every distinguished visitor this year, that people are the foundation of the strategic readiness and power projection of the Army and the Joint Force," said Gardner.
These important engagements reinforced how MCAAP supports Army Readiness to ensure the Organic Industrial Base is postured to provide surge and future force requirements.
In February, MCAAP’s Engineering and Public Works Directorate combatted a historic winter storm that hit the U.S. from Texas to the Canadian border. "In the aftermath of that storm, MCAAP’s crews were busy locating, isolating, and repairing water and steam line breaks that occurred both outside and inside of buildings," said Gardner.
Many of the underground water line breaks were difficult to locate due to the snow-covered ground and the remote locations of the breaks. MCAAP's Public Works team cleared snow from roadways, bridges and sidewalks to improve accessibility to the plant's facilities.
"Because of their relentless efforts, repairs were made and MCAAP operations were restored in days, rather than weeks," said Gardner.
"Also since January, and, in fact, all during the COVID pandemic, Brian and the MCAAP team continued to assess and reevaluate all facets of this organization to always meet mission requirements — in accordance with ever-changing guidance and procedures," said Gardner. "On top of all of the required protections and social distancing protocols, MCAAP formed red, blue, and green teams, to segment the workforce and further protect them from mass exposure — a job well done."
Gardner then welcomed Col. Hammond and his wife, Jenny, to the team. "I have no doubt that McAlester Army Ammunition Plant will remain in good hands during your service here," said Gardner. "Once again, the Army is placing another outstanding officer with the right skill set and leadership ability to take this organization to the next level."
Hammond thanked Brig. Gen. Gardner for the opportunity to command MCAAP, but also thanked the MCAAP workforce for welcoming him and his family into the fold.
Hammond acknowledged MCAAP's strategic role within the U.S. Army Materiel Command's organic industrial base, and said that he looks forward to challenges that lay ahead. “I’ll give you 110% and more every day, as we lead this organization for the next two years,” Hammond said.
Hammond previously served at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, where he was Director of Future Operations, G5, U.S. Army Sustainment Command. He has deployed on numerous occasions to the Middle East throughout his career.
He holds a bachelor's degree in English from Texas A&M—Corpus Christi, where he received his commission into the U.S. Army Quartermaster Branch in 1997. He also holds a master's degree in transportation and logistics from North Dakota State University.
His military education includes the Armor Basic Course, Logistics Captains Career Course, Air Assault School, Command and General Staff College, the School of Advanced Military Studies, and the U.S. Army War College fellowship program at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas. He holds a Master of Military Arts and Science degree from the School of Advanced Military Science located at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Col. Hammond's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters); Joint Meritorious Service Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster); Meritorious Service Medal (6 Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Commendation Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Achievement Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters); OIF Campaign Medal; Korea Service Medal; and Air Assault Badge.
McAlester Army Ammunition Plant is the Department of Defense's premier bomb and warhead loading facility, and is one of 17 industrial facilities within the Joint Munitions Command. It is vital to ammunition stock management and delivery to the joint warfighter for training and combat operations.