* FREDERICKSBURG, Va. -- The Army is working on a major effort to upgrade the service's five government-owned, contractor-operated ammunition plants, said the senior commander of Picatinny Arsenal.
The ammunition plants include Holston in Kingsport, Tennessee; Radford in Radford, Virginia; Lake City in Independence, Missouri; Iowa in Middleton, Iowa; and Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania, said Brig. Gen. Alfred Abramson, who also serves as the program executive officer for armaments and ammunition.
Most of those facilities were built in the 1940s, he noted during remarks at the National Defense Industrial Association's annual Armament Systems Forum in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Some of those facilities look like they date from the World War II era, he said. "We've got to modernize those to get capability for the future."
The service has requested $475 million in President Donald Trump's fiscal year 2020 budget proposal for the upgrades, he said. That is more than the $458 million that was allocated for this fiscal year. He also noted that the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act calls for increased investment in the ammunition industrial base.
The Army is "focusing on modernization priorities, modernization capabilities. But at the same time... [there is] a commitment and recognition that if we're going...