• The joint color guard, made up of members of the military branches with commands on Rock Island Arsenal, lead the RIA 150th Anniversary Celebration parade up Rodman Avenue on July 7. (Photo by Barbara Toner, ASC Public Affairs)

    The joint color guard, made up of members of...

    The joint color guard, made up of members of the military branches with commands on Rock Island Arsenal, lead the RIA 150th Anniversary Celebration parade up Rodman Avenue on July 7. (Photo by Barbara Toner, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Sgt. Maj. Duane Strong, Distribution Management Center, gives marching commands to Army Sustainment Command soldiers marching down Rodman Avenue during the parade. (Photo by Keith Claussen, ASC Public Affairs)

    Sgt. Maj. Duane Strong, Distribution Management...

    Sgt. Maj. Duane Strong, Distribution Management Center, gives marching commands to Army Sustainment Command soldiers marching down Rodman Avenue during the parade. (Photo by Keith Claussen, ASC Public Affairs)

  • A member of Black Hawk Pipes and Drums marches down Rodman Avenue. (Photo by Keith Claussen, ASC Public Affairs)

    A member of Black Hawk Pipes and Drums marches...

    A member of Black Hawk Pipes and Drums marches down Rodman Avenue. (Photo by Keith Claussen, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Sparky the Fire Dog and Rock Island Arsenal firefighter Brian Hansen wave to the crowd during the sesquicentennial celebration parade that weaved its way along Rodman Avenue July 7. (Photo by Barbara Toner, ASC Public Affairs)

    Sparky the Fire Dog and Rock Island Arsenal...

    Sparky the Fire Dog and Rock Island Arsenal firefighter Brian Hansen wave to the crowd during the sesquicentennial celebration parade that weaved its way along Rodman Avenue July 7. (Photo by Barbara Toner, ASC Public Affairs)

  • As Civil War re-enactors salute her in the background, Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion greets the crowd gathered for the parade as part of Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Paul Levesque, ASC Public Affairs)

    As Civil War re-enactors salute her in the...

    As Civil War re-enactors salute her in the background, Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion greets the crowd gathered for the parade as part of Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Paul Levesque, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Videographers from the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, check their gear prior to jumping at the Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration July 7. In addition to shooting video, they shoot still photographs by biting on a device that triggers the camera's shutter. (Photo by Galen Putnam, ASC Public Affairs)

    Videographers from the U.S. Army Parachute...

    Videographers from the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, check their gear prior to jumping at the Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration July 7. In addition to shooting video, they shoot still photographs by biting on a device...

  • Members of the Golden Knights' "Black Team" survey the sky during a rehearsal jump July 6. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

    Members of the Golden Knights' "Black Team"...

    Members of the Golden Knights' "Black Team" survey the sky during a rehearsal jump July 6. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

  • A Golden Knight looks over Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., with the Mississippi River in the background during a rehearsal jump July 6. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

    A Golden Knight looks over Rock Island Arsenal...

    A Golden Knight looks over Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., with the Mississippi River in the background during a rehearsal jump July 6. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion, commanding general of Army Sustainment Command, responds to WHBF-TV channel 4 co-anchor Steve Long, during a live remote July 6 as the Golden Knights circle overhead before parachuting to Rock Island Arsenal. (Photo by Dan Carlson, ASC Public Affairs)

    Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion, commanding...

    Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion, commanding general of Army Sustainment Command, responds to WHBF-TV channel 4 co-anchor Steve Long, during a live remote July 6 as the Golden Knights circle overhead before parachuting to Rock Island Arsenal. (Photo by...

  • KWQC-TV reporter Bailey Dietz and tandem instructor Sgt. 1st Class Noah Watts prepare to jump during a rehearsal jump onto Rock Island Arsenal July 6. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

    KWQC-TV reporter Bailey Dietz and tandem...

    KWQC-TV reporter Bailey Dietz and tandem instructor Sgt. 1st Class Noah Watts prepare to jump during a rehearsal jump onto Rock Island Arsenal July 6. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

  • The point of no return for this Golden Knight July 6. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

    The point of no return for this Golden Knight...

    The point of no return for this Golden Knight July 6. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

  • A member of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, exits the team's aircraft during the Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration July 7. The Golden Knights perform throughout the United States and abroad traveling an average of 270 days annually. (Photo by Galen Putnam, ASC Public Affairs)

    A member of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the...

    A member of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, exits the team's aircraft during the Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration July 7. The Golden Knights perform throughout the United States and abroad traveling an average of...

  • Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion, commanding general of Army Sustainment Command, exits the Golden Knights' plane tethered to tandem instructor Sgt. 1st Class Noah Watts, at the Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration July 7. Watts has 500-plus tandem jumps and more than 3,200 jumps total. (Photo by Galen Putnam, ASC Public Affairs)

    Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion, commanding...

    Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion, commanding general of Army Sustainment Command, exits the Golden Knights' plane tethered to tandem instructor Sgt. 1st Class Noah Watts, at the Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration July 7. Watts has...

  • The Golden Knights in freefall form in a diamond formation during the July 7 opening ceremony for the 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Keith Claussen, ASC Public Affairs)

    The Golden Knights in freefall form in a...

    The Golden Knights in freefall form in a diamond formation during the July 7 opening ceremony for the 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Keith Claussen, ASC Public Affairs)

  • A member of the Golden Knights Parachuting Team takes one final look before landing on Rock Island Arsenal's Memorial Field. (Photo by Keith Claussen, ASC Public Affairs)

    A member of the Golden Knights Parachuting Team...

    A member of the Golden Knights Parachuting Team takes one final look before landing on Rock Island Arsenal's Memorial Field. (Photo by Keith Claussen, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion prepares for landing while parachuting tandem with the Golden Knights. (Photo by Keith Claussen, ASC Public Affairs)

    Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion prepares for...

    Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion prepares for landing while parachuting tandem with the Golden Knights. (Photo by Keith Claussen, ASC Public Affairs)

  • A member of the Golden Knights Parachuting Team descends while carrying the nations' colors during the opening ceremony of Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Keith Claussen, ASC Public Affairs)

    A member of the Golden Knights Parachuting Team...

    A member of the Golden Knights Parachuting Team descends while carrying the nations' colors during the opening ceremony of Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Keith Claussen, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Members of the Golden Knights' "Black Team" descend onto Rock Island Arsenal July 7 to close Rock Island Arsenal's 150 Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

    Members of the Golden Knights' "Black Team"...

    Members of the Golden Knights' "Black Team" descend onto Rock Island Arsenal July 7 to close Rock Island Arsenal's 150 Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Members of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, perform a spinning maneuver while connected to each other during the Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration July 7. The Golden Knights have been representing the Army since 1959 and have won numerous national and world championships. (Photo by Galen Putnam, ASC Public Affairs)

    Members of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the...

    Members of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, perform a spinning maneuver while connected to each other during the Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration July 7. The Golden Knights have been representing the Army since 1959...

  • Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion's father - Mac McQuistion (left),  husband, Leif Johnson (center),  and sister, Kathy Fries (right) look skyward as Maj. Gen. McQuistion exits the plane with the Army's Golden Knights parachute team on July 7 at Rock Island Arsenal. (Photo by Dan Carlson, ASC Public Affairs)

    Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion's father - Mac...

    Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion's father - Mac McQuistion (left), husband, Leif Johnson (center), and sister, Kathy Fries (right) look skyward as Maj. Gen. McQuistion exits the plane with the Army's Golden Knights parachute team on July 7 at Rock...

  • The Golden Knights performed two shows on July 7 at the Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Bonnie Seals, ASC Public Affairs)

    The Golden Knights performed two shows on July...

    The Golden Knights performed two shows on July 7 at the Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Bonnie Seals, ASC Public Affairs)

  • One of the Army Golden Knights Parachute Team prepares to land on Rock Island Arsenal's Memorial Field during the 150th Anniversary Celebration that took place July 7. (Photo by Barbara Toner, ASC Public Affairs)

    One of the Army Golden Knights Parachute Team...

    One of the Army Golden Knights Parachute Team prepares to land on Rock Island Arsenal's Memorial Field during the 150th Anniversary Celebration that took place July 7. (Photo by Barbara Toner, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Another pinpoint landing for the Golden Knights during the Anniversary Celebration closing ceremony July 7. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

    Another pinpoint landing for the Golden Knights...

    Another pinpoint landing for the Golden Knights during the Anniversary Celebration closing ceremony July 7. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

  • A Golden Knights parachutist makes his landing carrying the state colors of Illinois during the opening ceremony of Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Keith Claussen, ASC Public Affairs)

    A Golden Knights parachutist makes his landing...

    A Golden Knights parachutist makes his landing carrying the state colors of Illinois during the opening ceremony of Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Keith Claussen, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Following the July 7 morning performance for Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration, members of the Army's Golden Knights parachute team prepare their equipment for the afternoon performance at Rock Island Arsenal. (Photo by Dan Carlson, ASC Public Affairs)

    Following the July 7 morning performance for...

    Following the July 7 morning performance for Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration, members of the Army's Golden Knights parachute team prepare their equipment for the afternoon performance at Rock Island Arsenal. (Photo by Dan Carlson...

  • Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Spencer, Army Sustainment Command sergeant major, talks to  WLLR-FM 103.7 radio personality Pat Leuck the morning of  July 7. The Association of the United States Army sponsored the nine broadcasts that took place that morning to invite Quad Cities residents to the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration.  (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

    Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Spencer, Army...

    Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Spencer, Army Sustainment Command sergeant major, talks to WLLR-FM 103.7 radio personality Pat Leuck the morning of July 7. The Association of the United States Army sponsored the nine broadcasts that took place that...

  • Col. Scott J. Lofreddo, chief of staff, Army Sustainment Command, responds to questions from WLLR-FM 103.7 radio personality Pat Leuck the morning of July 7. Senior leaders throughout the various Rock Island Arsenal's commands participated in live broadcasts to help promote the 150th anniversary. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

    Col. Scott J. Lofreddo, chief of staff, Army...

    Col. Scott J. Lofreddo, chief of staff, Army Sustainment Command, responds to questions from WLLR-FM 103.7 radio personality Pat Leuck the morning of July 7. Senior leaders throughout the various Rock Island Arsenal's commands participated in live...

  • Visitors to the Army Sustainment Command exhibit look closely at the 150th anniversary display during the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration July 7 at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill. (Photo by Barbara Toner, ASC Public Affairs)

    Visitors to the Army Sustainment Command...

    Visitors to the Army Sustainment Command exhibit look closely at the 150th anniversary display during the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration July 7 at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill. (Photo by Barbara Toner, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion poses with the Civil War Encampment group. (Photo by Bonnie Seals, ASC Public Affairs)

    Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion poses with the...

    Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion poses with the Civil War Encampment group. (Photo by Bonnie Seals, ASC Public Affairs)

  • A Civil War re-eanctor and a visitor to Rock Island Arsenal discusses the replica firearms stacked at the Civil War encampment that was among the displays at Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. (Photo by Paul Levesque, ASC Public Affairs)

    A Civil War re-eanctor and a visitor to Rock...

    A Civil War re-eanctor and a visitor to Rock Island Arsenal discusses the replica firearms stacked at the Civil War encampment that was among the displays at Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. (Photo by Paul Levesque, ASC...

  • Civil War re-enactors relax in the shade at the Civil War encampment during Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration July 7. (Photo by Paul Levesque, ASC Public Affairs)

    Civil War re-enactors relax in the shade at the...

    Civil War re-enactors relax in the shade at the Civil War encampment during Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration July 7. (Photo by Paul Levesque, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Children sign an oversized birthday card from the USO of Illinois for Rock Island Arsenal in the children's activities area at the Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. (Photo by Paul Levesque, ASC Public Affairs)

    Children sign an oversized birthday card from...

    Children sign an oversized birthday card from the USO of Illinois for Rock Island Arsenal in the children's activities area at the Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. (Photo by Paul Levesque, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Mark Border buffs his 1966 Ford Mustang one last time before the start of Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. The event featured a classic car show, with 23 vehicles from throughout the area on display. (Photo by Paul Levesque, ASC Public Affairs)

    Mark Border buffs his 1966 Ford Mustang one...

    Mark Border buffs his 1966 Ford Mustang one last time before the start of Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. The event featured a classic car show, with 23 vehicles from throughout the area on display. (Photo by Paul...

  • John Deere employee Irma Medina helps a girl create a "garden in a glove" in the children's activities area during Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. (Photo by Paul Levesque, ASC Public Affairs)

    John Deere employee Irma Medina helps a girl...

    John Deere employee Irma Medina helps a girl create a "garden in a glove" in the children's activities area during Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. (Photo by Paul Levesque, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Food vendor Terri Sinde offers welcomed relief to youngsters during the early afternoon July 7. With a heat index of 110 degrees, staying cool and hydrated were the orders of the day. Sinde also works at the day care center on Rock Island Arsenal. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

    Food vendor Terri Sinde offers welcomed relief...

    Food vendor Terri Sinde offers welcomed relief to youngsters during the early afternoon July 7. With a heat index of 110 degrees, staying cool and hydrated were the orders of the day. Sinde also works at the day care center on Rock Island Arsenal...

  • Rhyca Fullerlove, 6, enjoys a taco during a lunch break July 7 at the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. Earlier she partook in face painting  at a USO carnival tent. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

    Rhyca Fullerlove, 6, enjoys a taco during a...

    Rhyca Fullerlove, 6, enjoys a taco during a lunch break July 7 at the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. Earlier she partook in face painting at a USO carnival tent. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion talks with various RIA's members after handing out recognition awards for their efforts in the planning of the 150th anniversary.  A total of 48 awards were given out to people from all commands on the installation. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

    Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion talks with...

    Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion talks with various RIA's members after handing out recognition awards for their efforts in the planning of the 150th anniversary. A total of 48 awards were given out to people from all commands on the installation...

  • Members of The Spirit of the USO Band, led by singer Typhanie Monique, play their hearts out during an afternoon performance at the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. The band provided many genres of music which showed its diversity in musical abilities. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

    Members of The Spirit of the USO Band, led by...

    Members of The Spirit of the USO Band, led by singer Typhanie Monique, play their hearts out during an afternoon performance at the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. The band provided many genres of music which showed its diversity in musical...

  • Rich Parenti, singer and saxophonist for The Spirit of the USO Band, wails out a solo during a performance. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

    Rich Parenti, singer and saxophonist for The...

    Rich Parenti, singer and saxophonist for The Spirit of the USO Band, wails out a solo during a performance. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Gary Goins, Rock Island, Ill., receives congratulations immediately after winning an ice cream contest July 7 at the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. Goins ate 10 ounces of Whiteys vanilla ice cream in 26. 4 seconds. For his efforts, Goins was awarded an autographed Chicago Blackhawks jersey of hockey player Michael Foley. (Photo by Jon Connor, ASC Public Affairs)

    Gary Goins, Rock Island, Ill., receives...

    Gary Goins, Rock Island, Ill., receives congratulations immediately after winning an ice cream contest July 7 at the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. Goins ate 10 ounces of Whiteys vanilla ice cream in 26. 4 seconds. For his efforts, Goins was...

  • Four young men await the late-afternoon performance of the Army's Golden Knights parachute team at Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. One of teenagers said it was great to be close to the Golden Knights. Seeing them on television is not the same as seeing them in person, he said. (Photo by Dan Carlson, ASC Public Affairs)

    Four young men await the late-afternoon...

    Four young men await the late-afternoon performance of the Army's Golden Knights parachute team at Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. One of teenagers said it was great to be close to the Golden Knights. Seeing them on...

  • Hundreds of people visited the Army Sustainment Command's display during the Rock Island Arsenal 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7 which offered DVDs and spiral books on its myriad of missions. (Photo by Dan Carlson, ASC Public Affairs)

    Hundreds of people visited the Army Sustainment...

    Hundreds of people visited the Army Sustainment Command's display during the Rock Island Arsenal 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7 which offered DVDs and spiral books on its myriad of missions. (Photo by Dan Carlson, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Visitors to the Rock Island Arsenal 150th Anniversary Celebration talk with a member of the Golden Knights parachute team following the morning performance on July 7 during the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration.  (Photo by Dan Carlson, ASC Public Affairs)

    Visitors to the Rock Island Arsenal 150th...

    Visitors to the Rock Island Arsenal 150th Anniversary Celebration talk with a member of the Golden Knights parachute team following the morning performance on July 7 during the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Dan Carlson, ASC Public...

  • A young girl practices the "buddy drag" during Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. The event was harder than it looked thanks to 100-plus degree temperatures, she said. (Photo by Dan Carlson, ASC Public Affairs)

    A young girl practices the "buddy drag" during...

    A young girl practices the "buddy drag" during Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. The event was harder than it looked thanks to 100-plus degree temperatures, she said. (Photo by Dan Carlson, ASC Public Affairs)

  • A young girl tosses a ball at the target during the Rock Island Arsenal 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. (Photo by Dan Carlson, ASC Public Affairs)

    A young girl tosses a ball at the target during...

    A young girl tosses a ball at the target during the Rock Island Arsenal 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. (Photo by Dan Carlson, ASC Public Affairs)

  • This family watches the 150th History videos in the Army Sustainment Command booth.  Kids' activities included face painting at the Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration.  (Photo by Bonnie Seals, ASC Public Affairs)

    This family watches the 150th History videos in...

    This family watches the 150th History videos in the Army Sustainment Command booth. Kids' activities included face painting at the Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Bonnie Seals, ASC Public Affairs)

  • 1860s-era family portraits were taken in period clothing and sent free to event goers' e-mail addresses during the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Bonnie Seals, ASC Public Affairs)

    1860s-era family portraits were taken in period...

    1860s-era family portraits were taken in period clothing and sent free to event goers' e-mail addresses during the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Bonnie Seals, ASC Public Affairs)

  • A young man takes the Chicago Blackhawks Hockey Team Puck Challenge July 7 during the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Bonnie Seals, ASC Public Affairs)

    A young man takes the Chicago Blackhawks Hockey...

    A young man takes the Chicago Blackhawks Hockey Team Puck Challenge July 7 during the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Bonnie Seals, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Spencer, Army Sustainment Command, greets Staff Sgt. Reese Pendleton, a member of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, during a social held in their honor at the Arsenal Club, July 6. Looking on are Sgt. 1st Class Noah Watts, of the Golden Knights (left) and Command Sgt. Maj. Jesse L. Andrews, First Army command sergeant major. (Photo by Dan Carlson, Army Sustainment Command Public Affairs)

    Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Spencer, Army...

    Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Spencer, Army Sustainment Command, greets Staff Sgt. Reese Pendleton, a member of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, during a social held in their honor at the Arsenal Club, July 6. Looking on are Sgt. 1st...

  • East Moline, Ill., Mayor John Thodos (left) and his wife, Tricia, speak with Army Golden Knights member Sgt. 1st Class Brian Sealing on July 6 at Rock Island Arsenal. (Photo by Dan Carlson, ASC Public Affairs)

    East Moline, Ill., Mayor John Thodos (left) and...

    East Moline, Ill., Mayor John Thodos (left) and his wife, Tricia, speak with Army Golden Knights member Sgt. 1st Class Brian Sealing on July 6 at Rock Island Arsenal. (Photo by Dan Carlson, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Two boys race against one another in the "low crawl" activity for kids that was part of Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. (Photo by Paul Levesque, ASC Public Affairs)

    Two boys race against one another in the "low...

    Two boys race against one another in the "low crawl" activity for kids that was part of Rock Island Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration on July 7. (Photo by Paul Levesque, ASC Public Affairs)

  • Patrons viewing the "American Pride Camaro" July 7 courtesy of the USO during the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Bonnie Seals, ASC Public Affairs)

    Patrons viewing the "American Pride Camaro"...

    Patrons viewing the "American Pride Camaro" July 7 courtesy of the USO during the arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. (Photo by Bonnie Seals, ASC Public Affairs)

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Despite a heat index rising to 110-plus degrees, Quad Cities residents came out and celebrated the 150th anniversary of Rock Island Arsenal.

The Quad Cities consist of Moline, East Moline, and Rock Island on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, along with Davenport and Bettendorf on the Iowa side of the great river that physically separates much of the United States.

Activities officially kicked off at 10 a.m. with a parade that made its way down the island's main street, Rodman Avenue. Then, the U.S. Army's Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, descended upon RIA's Memorial Field, displaying their pinpoint landing skills.

Afterward, buses took attendees to the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, where they were given a tour to highlight some of the factory's major contributions to the operations that took place in Iraq, and still in Afghanistan.

Even country radio station WLLR, 103.7 FM, was on hand with one of its personalities, Pat Leuck, who interviewed many of RIA's senior leaders and others who represented the major commands on the island. Interviews were conducted from 9:15 a.m. to 11:50 a.m., inviting Quad City residents to partake in the day's festive activities.

The highlight of this year's celebration were the two performances by the Golden Knights.

For their first jump marking the celebration's opening ceremony, the team performed their "Full Show" featuring a mid-air baton pass, the "Cutaway" maneuver in which a jumper simulates a parachute failure, the "Diamond Track" which demonstrates how much lateral movement can be achieved in freefall, and the "Diamond Formation" in which four jumpers fly inches apart like high performance aircraft.

"We really enjoyed our time in the Quad Cities," said Staff Sgt. Chris Clark, a parachutist. "We usually jump at air shows or into stadiums, so this was quite a change of pace for us."

Following the show, the baton used in the performance was presented to Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion, commanding general of Army Sustainment Command, as she took the stage to give opening remarks. The baton was later placed in a time capsule with other mementos marking Rock Island Arsenal's first 150 years.

The team performed a "Mass Exit" show featuring a number of maneuvers as part of the day's closing ceremony. The highlight of their closing show was a tandem jump featuring McQuistion who rode with tandem instructor Sgt. 1st Class Noah Watts, who has more than 500 tandem jumps and more than 3,200 jumps total.

McQuistion's father, Mac McQuistion, her husband, Leif Johnson, and her sister, Kathy Fries were present and looked skyward as ASC's commanding general exited the plane with the Army's Golden Knights.

Upon landing, McQuistion looked exhilarated and thanked the Golden Knights for their role in the jump.

Hundreds of people lined Memorial Field to see the Golden Knights performances.

"We had to see their [Golden Knights] final performance; we could see them from our house this morning so we just had to come to the Arsenal to see them in person," said a family from Rock Island.

The day before, Bailey Dietz, reporter for KWQC-TV, channel 6, also participated in a tandem jump late Friday afternoon as part of a rehearsal jump for the Golden Knights.

Media were on the Golden Knights airplane for that jump, and there were media awaiting her landing and the other parachuters into Memorial Field's baseball diamond. Prior to the jump, media interviewed senior leaders at the RIA and then interviewed the Golden Knights upon landing.

"We were glad to be a part of the Arsenal's 150th anniversary celebration," Clark said. "I like the architecture at the Arsenal and was glad we could learn a little bit about its history. Rock Island Arsenal is unlike any place we have ever visited, and given the opportunity, we would love to come back here again."

Other events of the anniversary day included performances by The Spirit of the USO band, a band that played a variety of cover song hits throughout the decades. Stunning shows were given by Circurious, which blended theatrical movements, magic, and music to produce a very eye-catching performance.

Food and ice-chilled drinks were available from a variety of vendors to keep everyone from overheating.

Even food vendor Terri Sinde was hosing down passersby who were most grateful in their attempt to stay cool. Sinde normally works at the RIA daycare center.

Asked how business was going, cook James Deangelis of Sheridan's Islands Food Service, "It's been good."

He said most people were ordering barbecue pork and ribs. Water, he said, was being sold more than soda because of the hot weather. The busiest time was between noon and 1 p.m., Deangelis said.

Later in the afternoon, McQuistion presented 48 recognition awards to people representing all commands on the installation for their role in the planning of the anniversary celebration.

Other activities included exhibits at the Arsenal Museum, a classic car show, static displays of military equipment, a Blackhawk Puck Challenge, a GM Ride and Drive, Discovery Kids' Tent, and a Civil War encampment.

Also in attendance were a local the Army recruiting office.

"Overall it was a good event. We got to meet with a lot of people and made a couple of appointments," said Army Recruiter Sgt. 1st Class Roy Campbell, station commander of the Davenport Recruiting Office.

"We were glad to be a part of the Arsenal's 150th Anniversary Celebration. Since we represent the Quad Cities area, we are trying to work with Army Sustainment Command and First Army as much as we can. We might have different missions, but we all are part of the Army team."

As part of the celebration, a time capsule was created to preserve the day for those who will be celebrating the 175th anniversary in 2037. Placed in it was a letter from McQuistion that stated:

To those of you who now celebrate the 175th anniversary of the establishment of Rock Island Arsenal, I send greetings from all of us who celebrated the Arsenal's 150th anniversary two and half decades earlier.

We marked the sesquicentennial of Rock Island Arsenal with a huge celebration that was open to the public and intended to give the community a look at the vital work performed at this installation. While it is impossible for us to predict what your 175th anniversary celebration will be like, we hope that you, like us, take this opportunity to open the gates and invite the community to join you in marking this important milestone in the history of the Arsenal.

From the very beginning, Rock Island Arsenal has been closely tied to the surrounding community, a bi-state area currently and commonly referred to as the Quad Cities. Those ties were stronger than ever at the time of our 150th anniversary, and we hope that they have been further strengthened in the 25 years that have passed since.

At the time this letter was written, Rock Island Arsenal carried out global missions that involved us in all our nation's military operations and deployments. Our support truly made a difference to the brave young men and women who stood on the front lines of freedom, in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, in Korea and Japan, across the African continent, and with our long-standing European allies.

There is no way of knowing exactly what sorts of missions you now perform at Rock Island Arsenal, nor can we forecast what new threats to freedom may have emerged, or how our nation will choose to employ its military might in 2037. But we can be confident that the people of the Arsenal will always stand strong in support of those brave Americans who fight our nation's battles. That hasn't changed since 1862, and it never will.

Good luck and Godspeed to you all, and thank you for your additions to the rich history and traditions of this unique installation in the nation's heartland. As you lead the Arsenal forward into a future, we ask only that you take a moment to look back and remember those who came before you, just as we have paused to remember the people who helped make Rock Island Arsenal a national treasure.

On July 9, local media were sent a letter from McQuistion thanking everyone for their support:

"On behalf of the entire Rock Island Arsenal community, a tremendous and heartfelt thanks to the entire Quad-Cities for your support and participation in our 150th anniversary celebration on July 7! For those who were able to be with us, you helped make this a special and memorable day that highlighted both the Arsenal's important history and the critical missions currently carried out at this unique installation in America's heartland.

"Above all, thank you to the leaders and citizens of the Quad-Cities for the support you've provided for the Arsenal in the past, and continue to provide today. As we've learned in this sesquicentennial year, Rock Island Arsenal and the Quad-Cities community grew up together and built strong bonds over the years. We are proud of the part we've played in the development of this wonderful community, and we are grateful for all the community has done to keep us strong.

"By inviting the community to celebrate with us on July 7, we returned the hospitality and friendship that you have always shown us. I hope that you enjoyed the event, and that you will visit us again soon. We are your military --Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard -- and we are proud to serve at Rock Island Arsenal!"

Page last updated Wed July 11th, 2012 at 00:00