RIA commander speaks of Arsenal's future, way ahead
May 2, 2013
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - Brig. Gen. John F. Wharton, commanding general of the Army Sustainment Command, hosted a Rock Island Arsenal-wide town hall May 1 to outline his vision for the future of Arsenal Island.
The town hall took place at Heritage Hall in Building 60.
"We are trying not to focus so much on the noun 'Arsenal'," Wharton said, "and focus more on the state-of-the-art technologies of information technology, supply chain, all of those kinds of things that will keep us relevant and keep us at the forefront."
Wharton, the island's senior mission commander, described RIA as an Army post with regional and global impacts. Being the largest employer in the region, with more than 7,700 employees, the installation has a community impact of more than $1 billion per year and 14,000 local jobs. The 10 major commands located on the island support military members around the world through their manufacturing, research and development, sustainment, engineering and training missions, as well as Soldiers and their families locally.
"Now that we own the installation Department of Logistics we basically have most of the segment of the supply chain under Army Materiel Command for the Department of Defense," Wharton said. "If I were to talk about it in a business sense -- and if we are serious about getting after efficiency -- we own most of the global supply chain."
The ASC was given operational control of installation DoLs, now known as Logistic Readiness Centers, in October of 2012. Since the 73 LRCs are now under its purview, ASC exclusively manages field and sustainment maintenance, laundry, bulk fuel, property book, personal property, transportation, food service, supply, hazardous material operations, and ammunition for the entire Army.
"Supporting the war fighter is job one," Wharton said. "That will never change."
Wharton stressed that none of the 10 major commands on the island stands alone. Every mission of each command and tenant adds to the success that is RIA and helps to keep the mission of the Arsenal Island relevant and at the forefront of Army and DoD initiatives.
Wharton's vision also includes making RIA an integral part of the Quad Cities community by strengthening its partnerships with local companies, small businesses, and local academic institutions.
"I want you to know that (my) staff -- my chief of staff and Command Sgt. Maj. (James) Spencer -- is actively involved in helping us to build it," Wharton said.