Former commander extols assignment as 'perfect storm,' new leader returns to area
July 30, 2014
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- The Defense Department's premier small caliber ammunition production facility bid farewell to a commander who fondly recalled the assignment as the 'perfect storm' and welcomed another commander who returned to the Kansas City area.
Under a sunny sky and comfortable 82 degree weather, Lt. Col. Larry Cannon relinquished command of Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP) to Lt. Col. Shane Upton in front of its headquarters, July 23.
"My wife said it a little while ago during the awards ceremony that this has just been the 'perfect storm' of a great assignment with great quarters, an awesome community, great schools, great church and everything that goes into making an assignment memorable. We've absolutely loved our first experience in the American Midwest," Cannon said.
Cannon has been the commander since July 19, 2012. He was reassigned as the Army's Foreign Military Sales coordinator to the Office of Military Cooperation Kuwait.
Col. Joseph G. Dalessio, commander of McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, Oklahoma, and the ceremony's host, praised Team Lake City and Cannon for their accomplishments during his two years in command.
"Lt. Col. Cannon, the message I want to leave you with today is that you addressed and tackled the numerous challenges of command, and you did it in an exemplary manner," he said. "You not only led this organization to greater heights, but you provided outstanding support to our Warfighters stationed around the world."
Among the achievements, Dalessio cited LCAAP's production of more than 2.8 billion rounds of small caliber ammunition, and the production and delivery milestone of one billion rounds of the M855A1 enhanced performance round to the Warfighter.
He also credited Cannon with developing LCAAP's first-ever 10-year industrial base investment strategy and chairing the joint government-contractor board that is tracking the completion of $41 million investment projects on the installation.
Dalessio also praised LCAAP for being awarded the 2013 Secretary of the Army Environmental Award in the sustainability category for industrial installations.
"I could go on and on, but my point is that Lt. Col. Cannon always went above and beyond the call of duty," Dalessio said. "He has truly made a difference for Team Lake City, our Army and all of our Warfighters around the world."
Addressing the estimated 150 family members, government employees, contractors and friends from the community in attendance, Cannon praised the work done by his former workforce.
"The only reason that Col. Dalessio got to read all those great accomplishments was because Team Lake City was strong and functioning well," Cannon said. "As the commander, I [was] just the team captain."
The LCAAP assignment is a homecoming of sorts for Upton. His wife and her family are from the area, and he attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 2008.
"To the Lt. Col. Upton family, I have no doubt that Lake City is in capable hands," Dalessio said in welcoming the family. "It's great to have you as teammates and we all look forward to serving with you over the next two years."
Upton thanked the Cannon family for their hospitality and the smooth transition before addressing his new team.
"I look forward to working with the team that truly is a team of teams -- from our government employees to our team at ATK and all the other subcontractors -- that make this team so valuable and provide the best ammunition for our nation's best," he said.
Upton is the 28th commander of LCAAP since it originally opened in 1940. In his previous assignment, he last served with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, Fort Carson, Colorado.
LCAAP is a subordinate command of McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, Oklahoma. It is the Defense Department's premier small caliber ammunition production facility. LCAAP is a government-owned, contractor-operator facility run by contractor Alliant Techsystems (ATK). It is one of 14 installations in the Joint Munitions Command and one of 21 organic industrial bases under the U.S. Army Materiel Command.