McAlester Army Ammunition Plant Has History Of Making MOABs
McALESTER, Oklahoma - The GBU-43 is a large, powerful and accurately delivered weapon. It's called the ‘Mother of All Bombs’ and at one point was made right here in Oklahoma.
Thursday's U.S. bombing in Afghanistan is the first confirmed use of it in combat, and it didn't take long for many Oklahomans to figure out it was most likely made in McAlester.
Nearly 15 years ago, the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant was known to assemble the Massive Ordinance Air Blast - or MOAB.
While the spokesperson for the army plant will not say if the MOAB is still made there, the plant does support the joint forces with ready, reliable, lethal munition.
Security is tight and only workers are allowed on the Army Ammunition Plant near McAlester.
Some call the base a “glorified city” - it's twice the size of Disney World, employees 2,000 people and is known for making bombs - like the MOAB that was dropped in Afghanistan Thursday.
Coy Holt is the mayor of the nearest town, Savanna, and also works as a pipe fitter on the plant.
"It is hard sometimes to get that in these rural areas and the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant is a great place to work," he said. "I think McAlester, Savanna, Pittsburg, Kiowa would dry up and would not exist without the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant."
Officially, the plant's spokesperson says in a statement:
"The MOAB is one of the bombs produced by the Army for the Joint Force. The Joint Munitions Command and McAlester Army Ammunition Plant support the readiness needs of the Army and the Joint Forces with ready, reliable, lethal munitions at the right place and time to sustain global operations. I cannot confirm that the MOAB was manufactured here at McAlester Army Ammunition Plant.”
While many might have seen a model version in a parade, whether they are still built in the state remains a mystery. However, the plant has played a role in foreign conflicts.
Holt said, "They either pull equipment from here or materials from here to use in the war."
Working at the plant brings pride to Holt, saying work done there is part of the process to keep our troops safe.
Local police and fire train with workers on the plant and continually update security measures to make sure the area stays safe.