The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


Picatinny Arsenal

Picatinny Arsenal Picatinny is the site of ARDEC (Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center). ARDEC falls under the major command of AMC (Army Materiel Command) and TACOM (Tank Automotive and Armaments Command). ARDEC's mission is to conduct or mange research, development and engineering for all assigned weapon systems. Currently, its primary mission is research, development, and pilot-plant production of explosives and propellants for the Army. Picatinny Arsenal covers 6,491 acres in Morris County. Picatinny Arsenal is located in the NY/NJ Metropolitan Region approximately 45 miles West of New York City. The arsenal has been in operation for over 100 years, and it was a major source of ammunition in wartime.

On 06 September 1880, the War Department issued Special Order No. 189 which established the "Dover Powder Depot" in Rockaway Township, New Jersey to store gunpowder needed to manufacture ammunition. Four days later, the post was renamed the "Picatinny Powder Depot". It was built on land that had been the site of Mt. Hope Ironworks, including John Jacob Faesch's Middle Forge, that provided munitions for Washington's troops during the Revolutionary War. With his advanced knowledge of European technology, Swiss ironmaster John Jacob Faesch introduced many improvements to Morris County's iron industry. He also directed the iron manufacturing operations that provided the Continental Army with ammunition and ordnance during the Revolution.

In 1907, the installation became Picatinny Arsenal, home of the Army's first smokeless powder factory. After World War I, the arsenal added research and development of large caliber munitions to its mission. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, When World War II started, Picatinny Arsenal was the only plant in the United States capable of making ammunition larger than that for small arms. During the war more than 8,000 people were trained at Picatinny in specialized techniques of munitions and mass production. At the peak of WWII activities, the Arsenal employed in excess of 18,000 people on a three-shift per day, seven day a week basis. In the years from Korea to Vietnam, the prime arsenal mission was to develop and improve large caliber conventional and nuclear munitions. Through the early 1970s, explosives, propellants, and ammunition were manufactured at the installation. By 1977, manufacturing was replaced by the research and development of weapons and small caliber munitions. It was designated the United States Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) in 1986 and joined TACOM in 1994.

Picatinny Arsenal, like most Army installations, is continuously developing ways to tackle the challenges of downsizing and still provide today's soldiers, sailors, and airmen with the finest armament and munitions in the world. Restructuring initiatives have resulted in increased efficiency and substantial cost savings. The arsenal is committed to sustaining the highest possible quality of life for its workforce while continuing to perform basic research, concept evaluation, advanced development, and full-scale engineering support for production, fielding, and eventual demilitarization. Population served: 3,700 soldiers, civilian employees, dependents, and retirees. Size: 6,400 acres and 4,000,000 square feet of building space.

Picatinny Arsenal is located in Morris County (39 municipalities). Morris County, a 479 square mile county settled in 1685, is steeped in the past. Many place names - Hopatcong, Rockaway, Whippany, Pequannock, Succasunna and more - come from the Lenni Lenape Indians. And many of its roads and highways follow the old Indian trails. At the end of 1992, American Demographics magazine ranked Morris County as the most all-around affluent county in the nation. It was the only county to show up on all nine gauges of wealth used in the study, which was based on 1990 Census. According to the 1990 Census, as well, Morris County's population was 421,361 households. A Census report released in mid-April 1993, listed median family income as $62,749, giving Morris the second ranking in typical family income among the 3,141 counties in the nation. Household Income: $0-14,999: 7.6%; $15,000-24,999: 7.5%; $25,000-34,999: 10.6%; $35,000-49,999: 16.7%; $50,000-74,999: 25.3%; $75,000 plus: 32.2%.

Picatinny Arsenal is located in north-central New Jersey. The Arsenal is rectangular in shape, approximately 8.5 miles long by 1.5 miles wide. It is situated in an elongated northeast-southwest trending valley bounded by Green Pond Mountain on the west, Green Pond and Copperas Mountains near the northwestern border, and an unnamed ridge to the southeast. The topography is lowlands in the south and east rising to 1,388 foot elevation in the hills of north-west; lakes, hills, forests in the south and west. Mixture of city, surburban, country environment with population, industry and major office buildings centered in the east and central portion. Green Pond and Copperas Mountains are characteristically rugged, rocky, and steeply sloped with a maximum altitude of 1,200 feet. The southeastern ridge is not as rugged or steeply sloped and has a maximum altitude of 1,100 feet . The valley is drained to the southwest primarily by Green Pond Brook. It has two man made lakes--Lake Denmark and Picatinny Lake.

Precipitation (mean annual) Rainfall 45.9 inches; Snow 35.1 inches. Temperatures monthly average July 83 degrees - January 23 degrees. Chief industrial products include pharamaceuticals; electricial machinery and equipment; chemicals; scientific and controlling insturments; stome; rubber and plastic products; printing; publishing; and fabricated metal products.

BRAC 2005

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to relocate gun and ammunition Research and Development & Acquisition to Picatinny Aresenal from the following installations: the Adelphi Laboratory Center, MD; Naval Surface Warfare Center Division Crane, IN; the Fallbrook, CA, detachment of Naval Surface Warfare Center Division Crane, IN; Naval Surface Warfare Center Division Dahlgren, VA; the Louisville, KY, detachment of Naval Surface Warfare Center Division Port Hueneme, CA; Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division China Lake, CA; and Naval Surface Warfare Center Division Indian Head, MD. DoD also recommended to realign Naval Surface Warfare Center Division Earle, NJ, by relocating weapon and armament packaging Research and Development & Acquisition to Picatinny Arsenal.

This recommendation would realign and consolidate those gun and ammunition facilities working in Weapons and Armaments (W&A) Research (R), Development & Acquisition (D&A). This realignment would result in a more robust joint center for gun and ammunition Research, Development & Acquisition at Picatinny Arsenal. This location was already the greatest concentration of military value in gun and ammunition W&A RD&A. Picatinny Arsenal was the center-of-mass for DoD's Research, Development & Acquisition of guns and ammunition, with a workload more than an order of magnitude greater than any other DoD facility in this area. It was also home to the DoD's Single Manager for Conventional Ammunition. Movement of all the Services' guns and ammunition work to Picatinny Arsenal would create a joint center of excellence and provide synergy in armament development for the near future and beyond, featuring a Joint Packaging, Handling, Shipping and Transportation (PHS&T) Center, particularly important in this current time of high demand for guns and ammunition by all the services. Technical facilities with lower quantitative military value would be relocated to Picatinny Arsenal. This recommendation would include Research, Development & Acquisition activities in the Army and Navy. It would promote jointness, enable technical synergy, and position the Department of Defense to exploit center-of-mass scientific, technical, and acquisition expertise within the weapons and armament Research, Development & Acquisition community that resided at this DoD specialty location.

The total estimated one-time cost to the Department of Defense to implement this recommendation would be $116.3M. The net of all costs and savings to the Department during the implementation period would be cost of $81.2M. Annual recurring savings to the Department after implementation would be $11.3M with a payback expected in 13 years. The net present value of the costs and savings to the Department over 20 years would be a savings of $32.6M. Environmentally, this recommendation would be expected to impact air quality at Picatinny, which was in severe non-attainment for Ozone. This recommendation might have a minimal effect on cultural resources at Picatinny. Additional operations might further impact threatened/endangered species at Picatinny, leading to additional restrictions on training or operations. This recommendation would require spending approximately $0.3M for environmental compliance activities.

Join the mailing list

One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias

Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:55:27 ZULU