PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Officials here celebrated the 133rd birthday of Picatinny Arsenal with a cake-cutting ceremony at the post cafeteria Sept. 6, attended by Arsenal employees.

"Birthdays are always a renewal, kind of an advanced payment if you will on the future," said Lt. Col. Jason Mackay, Garrison Commander. "A look back to see where you've been and a look forward to see where you will go. With that, happy birthday, Picatinny."

Picatinny's lineage is traceable to the year 1749 when local blacksmith Jonathan Osborne established the "Middle Forge" at the foot of Picatinny Peak because the area was rich in iron ore and had an abundance of water. The forge later became part of the Mount Hope Iron Works, which provided cannon shot, bar iron, shovels, axes and other iron implements to the Revolutionary Army from 1775 to 1782.

The Army purchased the site and established the Picatinny Powder Depot in 1880, when the War Department needed a location to construct a black powder magazine. Picatinny produced high explosives and ammunition from 1902 until 1977, when its role was changed from manufacturing to research and development. Since then it has concentrated its efforts on two main areas ¬-- research and development of weapons and ammunition.

Picatinny Arsenal is the Joint Center of Excellence for Armaments and Munitions, providing products and services to all branches of the U.S. military. The 5,000-strong workforce specializes in the research, development, acquisition and lifecycle management of advanced conventional weapon systems and advanced ammunition. Picatinny's portfolio comprises nearly 90 percent of the Army's lethality and all conventional ammunition for joint warfighters.

The Arsenal contributes over $1.3 billion to New Jersey's economy and supports more than 10,500 New Jersey jobs, including thousands in local municipalities that service or directly benefit from Picatinny.