Located in Bynum, Alabama, Anniston Army Depot is one of the major facilities run and operated by the US Army, It is responsible for multiple depot operations, such as repairing various vehicles or storing chemical weapons. The depot covers more than 65 square km and hosts over 2,000 employees on site. Although it has the capacity to repair a lot of different vehicles, including tanks, its primary mission has always been to store weapons and ammunition. When it comes to chemical weapons, you can count mustard gas, the VX nerve agent or even Sarin. There are only seven depots that can host chemical weapons in the United States of America and this is one of them.
The general mission of this depot is to repair and produce military vehicles and store ammunition and supplies. The range of activities is widely varied. It mostly depends on the latest US Army upgrades and improvements.
The history of this site dates back to 1940, when the War Department was seriously looking for a spot to establish in the northern part of Alabama. By the end of the year, the authorities picked Anniston, therefore the US Army acquired more than 10,000 acres. However, the site was later extended to around 15,000 acres. The actual construction began in the first months of 1941 and included igloos, warehouses, a few administrative buildings and magazines. By the end of 1941, the whole depot was operated by four individuals only. It was still in its early months. By the end of 1942, it grew to almost 4,500 employees.
The missions at Anniston Army Depot kept changing as time went by. The US Army continuously upgraded its weaponry, not to mention about the new models that kept showing up, especially during the Cold War. The depot constantly evolved to fulfill its mission though, whether its objectives implied storing weapons or repairing tanks. Some of the major names that were repaired at this depot include the M48A1, M47, M48A2C and M48 tank models.
The chemical weapons got a spot at Anniston Army Depot starting with 1963. By the ’80s, it was responsible with missile maintenance as well. Operation Iraqi Freedom was one of the most important operations led by the US Army it supported through a very advanced armor kit. These days, the depot brags with more than 500,000 tons of various supplies in operations, as well as over 500 combat vehicles produced every year. It holds around 25,000 jobs in the area, therefore it plays a major role in the local economy.
Although there are more than 25,000 workers at Anniston Army Depot, there are no major units hosted on site. The facility is not operated by military units. Instead, there are a few tenant units deployed there, but their assignments are usually temporary. Many of the employees are civilians. Some of the most important tenant organizations hosted on site include the Chemical Activity, the Center of Military History, the Defense Munitions Center or the Defense Distribution Depot. These are no military units though.