Ground broken at Iowa Army Ammunition Plant for state-of-the-art metrology lab

By Matthew Wheaton, Joint Munitions Command, Public and Congressional AffairsNovember 21, 2023

Ground broken at Iowa Army Ammunition Plant for state-of-the-art metrology lab
In mid-October, Army officials broke ground for a new state-of-the-art metrology lab at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in Middletown, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Iowa Army Ammunition Plant) VIEW ORIGINAL

Army officials shoveled earth at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in Middletown, Iowa, for a metrology lab in mid-October.

“The facility that will play a pivotal role in supporting the production of medium and large caliber ammunition,” said Lt. Col. John Dunlapp, IAAAP’s commander. “This groundbreaking ceremony marks a moment of progress, innovation, and a commitment to excellence. As we embark on the construction of the metrology lab, we lay the foundation for a facility that will support our logistics operations, ensuring the highest standards of accuracy and precision in ammunition production.

“The metrology lab will be the second building on our logistics campus, the first is the solid waste facility, a testament to our dedication to expanding and enhancing our capabilities,” Dunlapp added. “This new addition will not only bolster our existing infrastructure but also provide a specialized space solely dedicated to the crucial task of metrology.”

A metrology laboratory is consistently maintained at a stable temperature and humidity level to ensure precise control of high-precision measurements. Its primary activities involve conducting precision dimensional measurements and calibrating measuring devices to meet stringent specifications. The lab is essential for the correct calibration of measurement instruments for their effective use on the production line. This assures that all items are manufactured to the same standards. All these efforts contribute to IAAAP's dedication to manufacturing the world's highest quality munitions.

The project entails the construction of a spacious pre-engineered metal building measuring 205 feet by 80 feet, covering an area of 16,400 square feet. It will house the new metrology laboratory and provide warehouse/storage space. Additionally, an attached structure measuring 77 feet by 26.6 feet, spanning 2,040 square feet, will serve as office space. The project scope encompasses related site preparation and utility extensions. Bi-State Contracting, Inc., based in West Burlington, Iowa, has been selected as the sole primary contractor to execute this project.

“The significance of this facility goes beyond its physical structure. It represents our commitment to the men and women who serve our nation, providing them with the best tools necessary to carry out their duties with utmost confidence,” Dunlapp said. “By ensuring the accuracy and precision of our ammunition, we enhance the safety and effectiveness of our armed forces.”

IAAAP, which is one of over a dozen subordinates of the Joint Munitions Command, encompasses 29.7 square miles and sits just south of the city of Middletown in Southeast Iowa. IAAAP consists of roughly 8,550 acres of forested/brush land, 6,550 acres of agricultural land, and 3,650 acres of industrial area which includes road and rail right of ways. It also has 250 acres of lakes, streams, ponds, and wetlands.