Commanding general says good-bye to Picatinny
January 29, 2009
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Picatinny Commanding General Brig. Gen. William N. Phillips bade farewell to the installation in a change-of-charter ceremony here Jan. 23.
During the ceremony, Phillips relinquished command of the Program Executive Office for Ammunition to James C. Sutton, who is currently serving as the deputy program executive officer for ammunition. Sutton will serve as the PEO for Ammunition until a replacement is named.
Phillips is leaving Picatinny because he has been tapped to serve as commander of the Joint Contracting Command for Multi-National Forces-Iraq said Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. in a Jan. 8 announcement.
At Picatinny, Phillips served three roles: program executive officer for Ammunition, commander of the Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command, and Picatinny commanding general.
In his new capacity, he will be responsible for planning, executing and managing mission-critical contracting efforts supporting U.S. and coalition forces, security operations, humanitarian relief and the reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dean G. Popps, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, as well as Lt. Gen. N. Ross Thompson III, military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, spoke during the ceremony, which Popps officiated.
Thompson said that although Phillip's new assignment will bring a broad range of responsibilities during this critical time of change in both theater and in the administration, he is sure that Phillips is the right individual for the job.
"Bill, I know, is going to do a great job, just like he's done here as the PEO for Ammunitions and the commander of the Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command," Thompson said.
During his farewell speech, Phillips thanked the Picatinny staff for their tremendous efforts on behalf of the warfighters and touched on a few of their recent accomplishments. "No one is more committed than you, and I am forever grateful and proud for the many accomplishments," he said. "You always give 110 percent to getting capability into the hands of our warriors."
Though PEO Ammunition achieved many milestones this year, from Soldiers firing the first GPS-guided Excalibur artillery round in Afghanistan to fielding the Army's first Brigade Non-lethal Capability Set, he said he was most proud of the advancement in improvised-explosive-device defeat products because those items can be directly related to saving the lives of our service members.
Phillips said the staff has done great work to date and he feels confident the organization members will continue their remarkable efforts in his absence. "We owe nothing less to those Soldiers, our warriors and their families, than to ensure we do our very best to put capability into their hands," he said. "You're clearly doing that and I know that you will give Mister Sutton nothing but your absolute best."
Not only did Phillips say he is excited about the future of PEO Ammunition and the JM&L LCMC, but he said he is also looking forward to his pending deployment.
"It will be a challenge, but I'm absolutely fired up about taking this job and having the opportunity to serve with the best armed forces that the world has ever known on the field of battle," he said. "At the end of the day it just doesn't get any better than that."
Phillips told the Picatinny workforce he expects to report to his new position by Jan. 30.
Phillips has served as commanding general of Picatinny Arsenal, commander of the Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command and the program executive officer for Ammunition since June 1, 2007.
Previously, he served as the deputy program executive officer for Aviation at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., from September 2004 to May 2007, and as the director of Unit Set Fielding for the Army G8 at the Pentagon from July 2001 to August 2004.
Phillips holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University and a Master of Science degree in procurement and materials management from Webster University. He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College, Defense Systems Management College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Brig. Gen. Larry D. Wyche, commanding general of the Army Joint Munitions Command, Rock Island, Ill., will temporarily assume Phillips' responsibilities as an additional assignment until a new JM&L LCMC commander is announced to replace Phillips.