The Army Ammunition Plant in McAlester got some good news on Friday. The city's largest employer won't lose any jobs and might actually get some new ones.
The McAlester Army Ammunition Plant was not on the BRAC list, to the relief of a city that mobilized to protect it. News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says McAlester's Army Ammunition Plant would seem to be critical during wartime.
The very thought of closing it was unimaginable to McAlester's city leaders - almost. Retention Team leader Mark Jordan: "Was it ever in danger, I was never, felt McAlester would be closed, but you never know about the realignment issues, and you can always be hurt by BRAC."
The Ammunition plant makes everything from small shells to the biggest bombs. From here they go all over the world. The official word came early Friday the plant wouldn't close - the unofficial version is it might actually expand. Even though the official word McAlester isn't on the list is something of a relief for folks around here, no one was ever really that concerned McAlester was ever on the list - that's because it's such a vital installation. 90 percent of the bombs used in Afghanistan and Iraq are made right at the plant.
2nd district congressman Dan Boren: "There's potential going through this BRAC round to gain some jobs, we don't know about that yet, but the main things is we're not losing jobs, so we're celebrating today."
McAlester hopes to get some of the jobs being lost elsewhere by continuing to talk up the plant and its people. McAlester Mayor Don Lewis: "We feel like we have an outstanding work force, a great group of people."
The plant has 45,000 acres of land and 6 million square feet of storage. For McAlester, the most important number is 1,400 - the number of employees at the plant who are in no danger of losing their jobs anytime soon.
The ammunition plant opened in 1946. It was built in the middle of the country to protect it from attack.