ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Marking seventy years in existence on tomorrow, Anniston Army Depot continues to proudly serve the Nation and the men and women of our Armed Forces.

While the installation has endured many changes over the last seven decades, its vision has remained the same -- supporting America's warfighters both in times of peace and in times of war.

In 1940, the War Department began construction of an Army Ordnance Depot in northeast Alabama and steps were taken to establish it in the Anniston area. A few months later, an initial 10,640 acre tract was acquired. After subsequent land purchases, the depot increased to its present size of 15,319 acres. Originally, it was comprised of storage igloos, ammunition magazines, warehouses and several administrative buildings.

From an initial workforce of four employees, the installation now provides employment for approximately 7,000 civilian, military, and contractor employees.

The depot was officially designated the Anniston Ordnance Depot in accordance with the War Department General Order No. 11, dated October 14, 1941.

Nearly a decade later, AOD was assigned a maintenance mission for the overhaul and repair of combat vehicles. In 1962, the facility was renamed Anniston Army Depot, an installation under the jurisdiction of the Army Materiel Command. A year later, the maintenance and storage of chemical munitions at ANAD began.

ANAD began repair and overhaul of the M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank in the mid 1980s and was the recipient of towed and self-propelled artillery and light combat vehicle missions as a result of Base Realignment and Closure of 1995.

From its origin to now, the depot has transformed into a state-of-the-art maintenance facility, rightfully earning its reputation as the "Tank Rebuild Center of the World."

The 1990s brought about various noteworthy changes, mostly in the form of tenant organizations.

In August 1992, the General Supply Mission was assumed by the Defense Distribution Depot, Anniston, under the command of the Defense Logistics Agency.

In 1993, the depot began leading the way within the Department of Defense in the public-private partnership arena. Currently, there are over 98 different partnerships with industry leaders.

The U. S. Army Clearinghouse, which receives, ships, and stores historical artifacts and property on behalf of the U.S. Army Center of Military History, was constructed in 1994.

In 1995, the Anniston Chemical Activity was established to manage the chemical mission under the Chemical Material Agency's umbrella. On Sept. 22, 2011, the agency announced the successful completion of an eight-year mission demilitarizing ANAD's chemical munitions, which represented seven percent of the nation's original chemical stockpile.

The 722nd Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) relocated from Fort McClellan to ANAD in August 1998. In April 2007, the company moved to Texas.

In October 1998, operational control of the depot was transferred from the Industrial Operations Command to TACOM Life Cycle Management Command.

Also in October 1998, the depot's Directorate of Ammunition, embracing the conventional ammunition mission, became a tenant function. Initially the Anniston Munitions Center was established; however, the name changed in 2004 to the Anniston Defense Munitions Center.

Today, the depot's primary mission has grown to encompass overhaul and repair of all heavy and light combat vehicles, with the exception of the Bradley, artillery, assault bridging, and small caliber weapons.

Utilizing a highly skilled workforce, the intricate work that was once completed internally has expanded to include on-site support in 42 locations throughout the continental United States and in six countries around the globe.

After seventy years of excellence, we continue to proudly serve our nation's military - at home and abroad - and look forward to being around for generations to come.