Base Contact Information
Office of Public Affairs for Stennis Space Center 228-688-3333
Information Center 228-688-2211
Visitor Information 228-533-9025
Geography and Area Information
The Mississippi Ordnance Plant, also known as the Mississippi Army Ammunition Plant is located in Hancock County, Mississippi at 30°23′48″N 89°36′31″W. The facility is part of a larger compound, the Stennis Space Center which serves as the National Space Technology Laboratories facility for NASA. The ammunition manufacturing portion of the area covers 4,337 acres (6.77 square miles) in a rural wooded area of the State. The ordnance manufacturing area is bordered to the east and west by Dummy Line Road and Mainline Road respectively. The northern border is marked by Leonard Kimble Road and the southern by Access Road. The Mississippi Ordnance Plant is located in the southern area of the State approximately 70 miles from the waters of Lake Borgne and the Gulf of Mexico and approximately 60 miles from the Louisiana Mississippi state line. The climate of the area is classified as subtropical humid and experiences year round warm weather. Occasional cold spells come through the area in winter months and despite being father inland it is still occasionally affected by tropical storms and hurricanes.
Construction of the Mississippi Ordnance Plant began in 1978 with the intention of being the first government owned contractor operated munitions plant in the United States and the first (and only) Army ammunition plant constructed after the Korean War conflict. It was to be the first integrated plant for production, assembly and packaging of artillery projectiles and propellants by combining a cargo metal part area, projectile metal parts area, load and assemble area and pack area all in one facility.
Construction was completed on schedule in 1983 and the facility was dedicated March 31, 1983. The facility was under 100% contractor control and employed a large group of civilian employees. In 2005 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendations the Mississippi Ordnance Plant to was slated to close in order to save the Department of Defense and estimated 32.4 million dollars. All functions of artillery munitions manufacturing would be moved to Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois. The facility was deactivated in March 4, 2009 and the area was taken back under control by NASA. At its closing the Mississippi Ordnance Plant was under the control of a subsidiary of Mason and Hanger-Silas Co, Mason Technologies, Inc.
Primary and Ancillary functions
The Primary mission of the Mississippi Ordnance Plant was full scale manufacturing of grenade-loaded 155mm Howitzer rounds with both armor piercing and anti personnel capabilities for the United States Army. The Facility combined four separate production lines in one area in order to transform raw material into usable munitions without having to in corporate additional outside resources. At its peak the Mississippi Ordnance Plant was capable of producing and packaging 120,000 rounds of M483Al 155mm Howitzer projectiles.
The Stennis Space Center and area that was formerly the Mississippi Ornance Plant can be visited by the general public. The INFINITY Science Center serves as a public liaison for visitors interested in the area. More information on visiting the facility can be found at www.visitinfinity.com or by calling 228-533-9025.