Radford Army Ammunition Plant

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Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RFAAP) is an ammunitions manufacturing complex with facilities located in Pulaski and Montgomery Counties, Virginia. The primary mission of the RFAAP is to manufacture propellants and explosives in support of field artillery, air defense, tank, missile, aircraft and Navy weapons systems. RFAAP is currently operated by BAE Systems making it the sole supplier of TNT to the US Department of Defense.[1]

On May 12, 2011, the Army announced that BAE Systems had won the "facilities use" contract to become the operator of the plant. BAE Systems also operates Holston Army Ammunition Plant in Kingsport, TN.

Capabilities[edit]

Capabilities of the center include: manufacturing propellant, manufacturing explosives.

History[edit]

RFAAP was established April 5, 1941 as Radford Ordnance Works and New River Plant. In 1945, the works was renamed Radford Arsenal and the New River Ordnance Works was assumed as a subpost until 1950, when it became an integral part of the Radford Arsenal. The arsenal was renamed Radford Ordnance Plant in 1961 and RFAAP in 1963.[2]

In 1995, Alliant Techsystems, parent company ATK Armament Systems, obtained a “facilities use” contract. In 1999, RFAAP gained the load, assembly and pack mission with the closure of Joliet Army Ammunition Plant, Joliet, Ill.

At one time, the facility used an ALCO MRS-1 military diesel locomotive, road number B2072, for switching, but it was retired by the 1980s and was scrapped at Cycle Systems in Roanoke, Virginia c. 1993.

The RFAAP was listed #2 on the Mother Jones Top 20 polluters of 2010, releasing 12,006,602 pounds of nitrate compounds into the New River - one of Virginia's major waterways.[3][4]

Facilities[edit]

RFAAP is housed on 4,600 acres (19 km2)[5] with 1,038 buildings, 214 igloos and storage capacity of 657,003 square feet[6] where the New River divides Pulaski from Montgomery County. [2] Although once remote from homes and schools, community development over the last seventy years has put thousands of people within five miles of the facility's toxic emissions, including ~ 7,000 children under 17.[7] The increase in production since 2001 has placed RAAP as the top emitter of toxins in the State of Virginia for several years running.[8] This toxic load is being releaed to the air and water surrounding the Main Manufacturing area where one large Open Burning Ground operates without any pollution controls or air quality monitoring just a mile 1/2 from Belview Elementary School, which ranked in the top 2 % for exposure to cancer causing chemicals in 2008.[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "[3]".

Coordinates: 37°11′02″N 80°32′41″W / 37.18389°N 80.54472°W / 37.18389; -80.54472