Holston Army Ammunition Plant (HSAAP) manufactures various explosives in Hawkins County, Tennessee. HSAAP is a government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) facility that was established during World War II. Ordnance Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of BAE Systems, currently runs the plant under a 25 year contract as well as running the nearby Radford Army Ammunition Plant.
HSAAP was originally called Holston Ordnance Works (HOW) and was opened in the summer of 1942. By 1945, HOW had stopped producing anything at all and was shut down only to be reopened during the Korean War.
Holston is broken up into two plants: Plant A and Plant B. Both plants are connected by rail and sit about four miles apart from each other. Plant A sits on 120 acres while the much larger Plant B sits on 5,900 acres.
HSAAP grounds feature 495 buildings and 129 munitions storage igloos totaling 201,369 sq. ft. The plant synthesizes, produces, develops, and tests explosives in addition to recrystallizing and purifying organic solvents (materials able to dissolve various substances), all while manufacturing chemicals for the defense industry. Holston has produced all of the RDX/HMX (explosives) consumed in the U.S. since 1988 in addition to producing 90% of all RDX/HMX used by U.S. allies.
HSAAP saw the creation of the Insensitive Munition Explosive (IMX), new weaponry that isn't as reactive to external stimuli such as vibrations and fire. IMX was built to reduce the incidences of injury and death in military personnel when transporting and handling munitions. Currently, the Army and Marine Corps use IMX, while the Air Force and Navy are reviewing this weaponry for potential use in the future.
Holston Army Ammunition Plant is also part of the Armament Retooling and Manufacturing Support program. This allows HSAAP to lease some of their space to private companies.
4509 West Stone Drive
Kingsport, TN 37660-1048
There are a couple of hotels near Holston. The Hampton Inn Kingsport, MeadowView Conference Resort & Convention Center and Comfort Suites are all within 15 minutes of the plant.
Jobs at HSAAP range from Quality Control Lab Technicians and Project Specialists to Project Managers and Principal Systems Engineers. If you're interested in working at the plant, you can search a wide range of positions on sites such as indeed.com or CareerBuilder.com.
Holston offers annual hunting and fishing opportunities that you must apply for (the participants are chosen by random drawing). If you have any questions, contact HSAAP's Natural Resources Manager at (423) 578-6276.
Places of Interest
You can visit parks, museums and more--all fairly close to the Holston Army Ammunition Plant. The Appalachian Caverns are a 30 minute drive from the plant while Laurel Run Park, which features hiking trails and waterfalls, is only 17 minutes away by car.