Letterkenny Munitions Center

Installation Overview

LEMC occupies 16,000 of Letterkenny Army Depot’s 18,200 acres. Its facilities include 902 igloos, 10 above ground magazines and a storage capacity of 2 million square feet. Strategically located near numerous transportation arteries in the Northeast, LEMC’s skilled team is capable of transporting munitions via air, rail, ground, or sea. Additionally, with multiple containerization facilities, LEMC can process over 200 20-foot containers daily thus ensuring timely processing and delivery of munitions.

LEMC’s employs over 300 Department of the Army Civilians, which are commanded by one Soldier. In FY22, LEMC had an operating budget of $85.1 million with a payroll of $31.3 million.

Additionally, LEMC has secure 24/7 controlled access which allows for the completion of its complex mission including:

  • Ammunition supply depot for all DoD armed services
  • Demilitarization
    • Open Detonation (OD) Pits
    • Open Burning (OB) Pans
    • Ammonium Perchlorate Rocket Motor Destruction (ARMD) facility
  • Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence (CITE) for Missile Maintenance
  • Premier missile maintenance location for the Air Force and Navy to maintain air-to-air and
    air-to-ground precision guided missiles
  • Extensive non-destructive testing capabilities to include:
    • Ultrasound
    • Magnetic Particle
    • Digital Imaging
    • Real-time X-ray
Moving ammunition

LEMC_History_img1 LEMC_History_img2

On 18 December 1941, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson ordered the acquisition of the 20,000 plus acres located near Chambersburg. Before 30 December, construction had begun, and fencing started surrounding the depot. In January of 1942, survey crews began to establish boundaries and temporary offices were set up using existing houses and outbuildings of residents that had already moved. In February of 1942, contracts were awarded for the construction of railroad tracks and depot roads. By the end of February, personnel were reporting for work. By 23 September 1942, the depot had 802 igloos ready to receive munitions and soon the first 9 railcars were delivered loaded with munitions.

Early 1944, the Ordnance Depot had two missions, supply the troops and stockpile munitions to support the invasion, if needed. The depots “master” mission was to receive and store and the depot processed 2 million pounds of munitions per month. Letterkenny set ordnance records in May and August of 1944 and was ranked the “Greatest Export Depot in the Nation.” By the end of 1946, post WWII, the depot ‘s ammunition demilitarization program was developed. This program burned approximately 76,000 chemical shells and demilitarized 600,000 anti-tank mines.

In 1954 the mission for rebuilding guided missiles was assigned and 100 new igloos were constructed. Later in 1959, the depot’s mission expanded again to provide initial supply and support of guided missiles, ballistic missiles, and rocket materiel to NATO-MAP recipients.

In August of 1962, the depot was transferred from the Chief of Ordnance to the Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command and was renamed Letterkenny Army Depot. In 1964, the closure of Olmsted AFB allowed five missile technicians to transfer to Letterkenny and this was the start of the Joint Missile Team. In February 1967, Letterkenny officially began the testing, along with the maintenance and repair of Air Force missiles. Further construction was completed in 1968, which allowed for maintenance on conventional munitions and the Air Force’s Nike Missile Systems.

In 1993, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) brought the first ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile) maintenance mission to the Letterkenny Ordinance Depot. The maintenance operations transferred in 1994 and were officially operational by October 1994. Over many years, Letterkenny performed maintenance on 5 different variants of the ATACMS missile and later the sister system, Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) was added. In 1999, the Directorate of Ammunition Operations was renamed the Letterkenny Munitions Center (LEMC) and command and control was given to Crane Army Activity and separated from the Letterkenny Army Depot.

In 2016, the Secretary of the Army designated LEMC as the Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence (CITE) for surveillance, receipt, storage, issue, testing and repair for the Army Tactical Missile System and Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System missiles. LEMC is a training site for Reserve ammunition units. May 2016 saw another first for LEMC, the beginning construction of the new one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art Ammonium Perchlorate Rocket Motor Destruction (ARMD) facility. Completed in 2019, this $43 million facility utilizes a confined-burn system which captures the rocket motor exhaust by-products before the gas reaches the atmosphere. By using the ARMD unit, LEMC has reduced pollution by more than 98 per cent when demilitarizing rocket motors.

Through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm (Iraq), Operation Just Cause (Panama), Gulf War, Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), and Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) Letterkenny Ordinance Depot/LEMC has been proud to serve the Warfighter serving anywhere in the world. Our mission will always be to serve our Warfighters with ammunition on time, every time, anywhere.

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Last updated: 12/01/2023 3:17 PM