The Program Executive Officer for Ammunition recently visited McAlester Army Ammunition Plant (MCAAP), Okla., for a hands-on look at the facility's capabilities and some of the operations that the McAlester staff performs for the PEO Ammunition.

Picatinny representatives Brig. Gen. Jonathan Maddux, Picatinny commanding general and Program Executive Officer for Ammunition, and Navy Capt. Jeffrey Horton, Deputy Executive Director of the Office of The Executive Director of Conventional Ammunition, joined McAlester plant and Defense Ammunition Center employees on a tour of the 45,000-acre installation July 22.

MCAAP has six ammunition production, maintenance and renovation complexes. It performs conventional ammunition demilitarization and is a major ammunition storage site for the armed forces.

Together the party toured the plant to observe the production activities the plant provides for PEO Ammo's Project Director Joint Products.

PD Joint Products manages conventional ammunition, which is transitioned to the Single Manager of Conventional Ammunition. The organization's portfolio consists of general purpose bombs and fuzes, Navy gun ammunition, cartridge and propellant actuated devices, and energetics.

"Our goal is to acquire top quality conventional ammunition, and achieve this with the highest possible degree of efficiency and effectiveness," explained Col. Victor Rodriguez, Project Director of Joint Products.

To achieve that goal, the organization works with program managers and engineers on technical and programmatic issues, helps facilitate the preparation and award of contracts, and manages production quality and delivery schedules, he said.

MCAAP is a large-scale Department of Defense general purpose and penetrator bomb loading facility. "As such, it's a key player in our portfolio," Rodriguez said.

The plant staff oversee warhead pressing and the installation houses the final integration facility for the CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon. The SFW is a 1,000-pound Air Force weapon containing sensor-fuzed munitions used to penetrate armor. This integration operation was relocated to MCAAP from Kansas Army Ammunition Plant as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure directive.

"The tour of the Navy bomb fill process is key in demonstrating the intricate processes that are required of the MCAAP team," said Horton. "It's encouraging to see the professional interaction between senior management and those on the line. It is also clearly apparent of the dedication of those building the bombs how much they care for the end user."

Final integration of the Excalibur 155 mm, the only GPS-guided projectile currently fielded to Afghanistan, also is done at the MCAAP.

The installation also features a state-of-the-art X-ray facility where advanced radiographic imaging takes place. Two Varian high-energy linear accelerators can provide real-time imaging on a wide variety of munitions, including those produced at MCAAP.

MCAAP also assists with demilitarization of ammunition.

PEO Ammunition's Office of the Project Manager for Joint Services, Product Manager for Demilitarization is responsible for the demilitarization of all conventional ammunition, including tactical missiles and large rocket motors.

MCAAP contains demilitarization structures, such as a Cryofracture facility used for demilitarizing mines, and an Ammunition Peculiar Equipment (APE) 1236 deactivation furnace that incinerates munitions, such as the N285 artillery fuze.