Geography and Area Information
Milan Army Ammunition Plant is located just west of Milan, Tennessee and 26.5 miles north of Jackson. The facility spans 22,357 acres and is bordered to the east and west by Spring Creek Road and State Highway 465 respectively. The northern border is marked by the Rutherford Fork Obion River and the southern border is defined by the Hope Hill Cemetery and Brewer Hill. The climate around Milan Army Ammunition Plant is defined as humid subtropical, meaning it has mild winters and hot humid summers.
Constructed in 1942, the Milan Army Ammunition Plant comprised of two separate facilities, the Milan Ordinance Depot and the Wolf Creek Ordinance Plant. The two facilities each filled a different role for the Department of The Army and together covered 28,000 acres. The Proctor and Gamble owned Wolf Creek Ordinance Plant processed ammonium nitrate, made large and small caliber small arms ammunition, operated and ammunition storage facility and manufactured fuses and boosters for heavy armor weapons. The Milan Ordinance Depot was responsible for all munitions once the left the hands of Wolf Creek. The Milan Depot handled distribution of explosives and ammunition to US Army forces across the globe and the World War II theater of war in Europe.
The Proctor and Gamble Defense Corporation merged both facilities into a single massive plant for the manufacturing and distribution of Army munitions in 1943. Operations continued as normal for the remainder of World War II. In 1945 Proctor and Gamble turned the entire facility over to the United States government and rechristened as the Milan Arsenal. The facility remained in a state of limbo for 6 years until the United States became committed to war in the Korean Peninsula.
1951 to 1962 saw a flurry of activity at the facility, including twice being renamed. Milan Ordinance Plant and then Milan Ordinance Depot. The now named Milan Ordinance Depot put a stop to much of its ammunition manufacturing in 1962 and began only serving a few smaller field units of the US Army. The facility was once again remained in 1963, this time to Milan Army Ammunition Plant, and to support expanding US activities and training production was increased. Though it remained under formal control of the United States Government, the Milan Army Ammunition Plant was managed by several different companies from 1963 to present day. In addition to Proctor and Gamble, the facility has been run by Lockheed Martin, Martin Marietta, Harvey Aluminum Sales Inc, General Dynamics and American Ordinance LLC.
The central location of the Milan Army Ammunition Plant gives it the ability to fill many roles for the United States Armed Forces. The facility is within a few hours of the major transit highways of I-40, I-24, I-65, I-55 and has the ability to send and receive cargo via rail car. The ease of shipping gives the Milan Army Depot the role of loading, assembling, packing, shipping, storing and receiving containerized ammunition for the United States Army and Department of Defense. This includes issuing and demilitarizing ammunition, maintenance, physical inventory and accountability for ammunition requests from all branches of the armed forces and Department of Defense.
The Milan Army Ammunition Plant is one of the largest facilities of its kind, and as result, it is responsible for manufacturing and storing much of the ammunition used by US forces for training and combat. The facility has over 2 million square feet of storage space, spread between 1,450 buildings and 873 secure storage igloos. The facility also has the ability to manufacture a large range of munitions and accessories. Manufacturing capabilities include tactical missile systems, mortars and their components, artillery projectiles, fuses, 40mm projectiles, propellant charges, bursters, grenades and ignition cartridges.
The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission increased some of the manufacturing responsibilities from the Milan Army Ammunition Depot. The Kansas Army Ammunition Plant was closed, and as a result the manufacturing and storage of 120mm, 60mm and 80mm mortar projectiles and 155mm artillery projectiles were shifted to the Milan Army Ammunition Plant. The Milan Army Ammunition Plant was also given the responsibility of manufacturing and storing Multiple Rocket Launcher Systems, 155mm and 105mm, hand grenade along with 80mm and 60mm mortar projectiles that had previously been the responsibility of the Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant.
The Milan Army Ammunition Depot is a closed facility and is closed from entrance by the general public. Any visits by non-employed personnel requires prior approval by the facility security office. There are, however portions of the facility grounds that are open periodically for fishing as well as deer and turkey hunting. Hunting and fishing permits require a background check and completion of an orientation class. Those seeking permits can find more information at http://www.milanarsenalhunting.com/ or calling 731-686-6682.