The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection
Hawthorne Army Depot Webpage

     The Hawthorne Army Depot (HWAD) is in the west-central part of Nevada, approximately 140 miles southeast of Reno, on the southern shore of Walker Lake. The Commanders Residence -- Main Base The Hawthorne Army Depot is in Mineral County and occupies approximately 150,000 acres of semiarid land surrounding the Hawthorne community, which has a resident population of about 4,500.

     Hawthorne Army Depot is a government-owned, contractor-operated military industrial installation. The resident contractor is Day and Zimmerman/Hawthorne Corporation. The government and Day and Zimmerman/Hawthorne Corporation employ approximately 700 personnel. See more photos of main base 


     The Hawthorne Navy Ammunition Depot (NAD) was established after an explosion destroyed the Lake Denmark, New Jersey ammunition plant in 1926. Hundreds of people were injured in nearby towns. A court of inquiry investigating the explosion recommended that a depot be established in a remote area within 1,000 miles of the west coast to serve the Pacific area.

     Construction began on NAD in July 1928, and NAD received its
View of Depot from Mt. Grant
   Click photo to expand picture.  Click camarea to see more photos taken from Mt. Grant 
first shipment of high explosives on October 19, 1930. When the United States entered World War II, the Depot became the staging area for bombs, rockets, and ammunition for almost the entire war effort. Employment was at its highest at 5,625 in 1945. By 1948, NAD occupied about 104 square miles of the 327 square mile area under Navy jurisdiction. Subsequently, excess Navy lands were turned over to the Bureau of Land Management.

     Security for the 3,000 bunkers at NAD was provided by the U.S. Marine Corps. Beginning in September 1930 and during World War II, 600 Marines were assigned to the facility. In 1977, that number had been reduced to 117; security is contracted to a private company.

     The mission and functions at NAD have remained much the same over the facility's history. The mission, as stated in a 1962 Navy Command History, was to "receive, renovate, maintain, store and issue ammunition, explosives, expendable ordnance items and/or weapons and technical ordnance material and Hawthorne Army Depot perform addition tasks as directed by the Bureau of Naval Weapons. It also served as an important ammunition center during the Korean War and the Vietnam conflict with several thousand structures on 236 square miles of land.

     In 1977, NAD was transferred to the Army, and renamed the Hawthorne Army Ammunition Plant (HWAAP). In 1980, HWAAP was redesignated as a government-owned contractor-operated facility. Day & Zimmermann Hawthorne Corporation (DZHC) is the current operating contractor. In 1994, the facility received its current name of the Hawthorne Army Depot (HWAD).

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