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McAlester Ammunition Plant hosts community yard sale, race

The McAlester Army Ammunition Plant opened its facility Saturday in southeastern Oklahoma to host a community yard sale and the fifth annual Patriot Run
BY John Yates, For The Oklahoman Published: October 7, 2012

Under the large tent was a mix of electronic items and office furniture. Nearby, a sizable collection of woodwork projects were for sale.

A mobile stage also was set up, from which a local radio station broadcast live during part of the event.

“It's a great event,” said Flo Barlow, who is with the Morale, Welfare and Recreation group.

The weather, particularly the wind, led to the decision not to set up inflatables for the children.

While discussing the event, Beckner also addressed the size of the military facility he commands. He said there are 410 miles of roadway, more than 220 miles of railroad track, and 2,800 permanent buildings on the 45,000-acre site south of McAlester.

One-third of the Defense Department's munitions storage capability is at the McAlester facility, which has thrived while many other military installations in the nation have been downsized or closed.

Approaching 70 years as a military munitions facility, the plant originally opened during World War II as the Naval Ammunition Depot.

Oct. 1, 1977, it was transferred to the U.S. Army. The plant is owned and operated by the U.S. government.

Beckner said the plant itself employs about 1,500 people, and tenant groups on the grounds employ another 400 people.

Noting the plant is the largest employer in southeast Oklahoma, the colonel also said a local publication named it the best place to work, as well.

“That's pretty good, when you're the largest and the best,” Beckner said.


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