AMC and ASA (ALT) senior leadership tours RIA-JMTC
April 1, 2014
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill - On Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Patricia McQuistion, deputy commanding general, Army Materiel Command (AMC) and Mr. Gabe Camarillo, principal deputy assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA ALT) along with other leadership from AMC headquarters, TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), and The Army National Guard Bureau toured the Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (RIA-JMTC).
During the three hour tour and briefing, leaders discussed how to ensure RIA-JMTC remains relevant and ready to support the joint warfighter in an environment of decreasing budgets and workload. As the defense budget decreases from a drawdown of two conflicts, the Army's only vertically integrated metal manufacturer is looking for ways to ensure that the artisan skill sets remain ready to support the nation.
"RIA-JMTC is a national treasure," said McQuistion. "Finding workload is a challenge that spans the entire AMC enterprise. We are here today to make sure the decisions you are making at the tactical level are elevated to operational and strategic level. We are here to help you."
In Mr. Camarillo's opening comments, he emphasized the importance of the organic industrial base to the Army.
"At the Pentagon, this has our full attention," Camarillo expressed. "We need to find a way to best utilize the capability that resides at the Rock Island Arsenal."
On the tour, leadership saw multiple programs that utilize the 16 critical capabilities at Rock Island Arsenal. Along the route, leaders viewed armor prototypes, howitzer recoil assembly operations as well as the assembly line for the National Guard ambulance.
During the briefing, RIA-JMTC Plant Manager, Greg Lupton explained many internal process changes that the arsenal has made over the last eight-months to be adaptable to the customer and ultimately the warfighter.
"We have had to evolve rapidly as the budget has decreased and the type of workload has changed," said Lupton. "We have implemented additional metrics to improve accountability across the organization. Also, we have improved communication with our customers, which have led to better working relationships."
In light of decreased spending across the Department of Defense, RIA-JMTC has done its own part to decrease internal operating expenses.
"Over the last three years, we have reduced our operating expenses by 63 million dollars," said Alisa Everson, RIA-JMTC resource manager. "By doing so, that has prevented our labor rate from increasing by an additional 29 percent."
AMC's deputy commanding general closed by affirming AMC's and the Army's commitment to the organic industrial base.
"We believe in the work here at Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center," closed McQuistion. "We will do our best to support and ensure that we find every opportunity to make you attractive."