Watervliet Arsenal

Thursday July 11, 2013

What is it?

The Watervliet Arsenal is the nation’s oldest, continuously-operated arsenal having begun its manufacturing of military hardware during the War of 1812. This Army-owned and “operated manufacturing center will celebrate its 200th anniversary July 14, 2013, and is a component of the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, which is a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

What has the Army done?

For 200 years, the Arsenal has produced critical weapons, parts, and material that have helped hundreds of thousands of our nation’s warfighters to come home safely. In the late 1880s, the Arsenal transformed itself from a manufacturer of saddles to a manufacturer of cannons. Today, 600 employees provide manufacturing, engineering, procurement, and quality assurance for cannon, mortars, and associated materiel throughout the acquisition life cycle. The Secretary of the Army designated the Arsenal as a Center of Industrial and Technological Excellence in January 2013. The Arsenal is also ISO 9001:2008 certified.

What continued efforts does the Army have in the future?

The Watervliet Arsenal is the only place in DOD where those who do weapons research and design reside with the manufacturing base. The Army’s Benet Laboratories resides on the Arsenal and is known worldwide for its gun design, structural and dynamic analysis, and for its application of advanced materials and composites. This unique synergy, where engineers who design a product are just a five-minute walk from those who will machine their designs, allows the Arsenal to rapidly adjust to new or urgent requirements.

Why is this important to the Army?

Given today’s fiscal uncertainty, the Arsenal ensures that the American taxpayer gets the best value for their defense dollar because it is not congressionally funded. As an Army Working Capital Fund command, it funds its operations and maintenance from sales of its products. Today’s Arsenal is relied upon by U.S. and foreign militaries to produce the most advanced, high-tech, high-powered weaponry for cannon, howitzer, and mortar systems.

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