By Mr. Darryl Howlett (AMC)August 4, 2008
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - An ammunition community of both military and civilians welcomed one commander while saying good-bye to another.
The Joint Munitions Command held its change of command ceremony August 1 between outgoing JMC commanding general Brig. Gen. James E. Rogers and incoming commander Col. Larry D. Wyche at Memorial Field.
Wyche became the fourth commander of JMC. His previous assignment was as the director, logistics, strategy and integration, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics, at the Pentagon.
Gen. Benjamin S. Griffin, commanding general, Army Materiel Command, officiated at the ceremony and spoke enthusiastically on both Rogers's and Wyche's leadership, and the importance of JMC's mission.
"Ammo will remain a top priority not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but wherever the military is in the world," he said. "And today we're saying goodbye to a great command team and saying hello to another great command team."
Griffin read a list of JMC accomplishments under Rogers's leadership:
"Rogers implemented the Lean Six Sigma program here and within two years it is self-sustaining in that it has master black belts mentoring green belts and black belts. JMC has completed 276 projects and saved $34.8 million. This represents 43 percent of all projects in AMC and 21 percent of all projects in the Army." Griffin said.
"JMC installations are represented by the commanders here today. Under Rogers's leadership Radford Army Ammunition Plant won the prestigious Secretary of the Army environmental award as a result of their new TNT process that eliminates environment risks. Pine Bluff Arsenal and Crane Army Ammunition Activity worked together closely to reduce a backlog of 60 mm and 81 mm mortar production program," Griffin said.
"Blue Grass Army Depot is one of three depots selected to produce the Mine Resistance Ambush Protection vehicle. McAlester Army Ammunition Plant completed the first assembly of Excalibur, a global positioning system-guided 155 mm extended range artillery round three months ahead."
Griffin spoke of Wyche continuing the tradition of leading JMC.
"You have a great team here. I've served with both of these gentlemen over the years. I know the quality of the leadership. I don't have to tell you to take care of the Soldiers," he said. "The civilians you have on staff here are second to none. (Wyche) knows he's getting one of the finest commands in the Army."
Griffin said he would return to Rock Island in the near future to promote Wyche to brigadier general.
Rogers thanked all of JMC for their support to the warfighters around the world.
"What a great day to be a Soldier. What a great day to be here at Rock Island Arsenal," he said. "Thank you to the JMC staff here and those that are working, thank you for a job so well done. You are the reason JMC is successful. You are the reason we're an integral part of the JM&L LCMC, and you are the reason our Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines don't go without quality ammunition every single day."
Rogers also took pride in the JMC Lean Six Sigma team leading the way to self improvement.
"(JMC's) Lean Six Sigma program is the best in DoD, and we have the data to prove it and that is what Lean Six Sigma is all about," he said.
Rogers also thanked the commanders on the ground at the JMC installations for keeping the production of ammunition going.
"To the commanders, the race continues for improvement of our facilities, our processes, and our safety programs to ship ammunition despite ice storms, record floods to keep that ammunition where it needs to be in the hands of our Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines."
Wyche received a warm send off from Rogers.
"To Col. Larry Wyche, you are taking charge of a great command. You're the right man for the right job."
Rogers, who led the command since September 2005, will become the commanding general of the 1st Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were Brig. Gen. William N. Phillips, commanding general, Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command; Maj. Gen. Robert M. Radin, commanding general of the Army Sustainment Command and Maj. Gen. Jerome Johnson, Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics, U.S. Forces Command.
Wyche thanked the Quad Cities and AMC communities for welcoming him and his wife, Denise.
"What a great day for a ceremony. Our troops are really standing tall," he said. "It is truly a great privilege and an honor to take command of the Joint Munitions Command. Denise and I would like to thank (JMC) for such a warm and friendly welcome. To the Quad Cities community, Denise and I have been truly overwhelmed with your heartfelt, kind and sincere welcome to this community."
Wyche informed the audience that he looks forward to continuing the great traditions and leadership within JMC.
"Joint Munitions Command is a proven team and consistently demonstrates selflessness day in and day out to support our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. The ammunition and logistics support this organization provides is absolutely amazing. I know. I've been on the receiving end and I ensure you the ammunition that we received were always ready for the fight: ready, reliable and lethal. To my new teammates it's a great feeling to know you're going to a Super Bowl team."
JMC manages 19 installations that store, issue and demilitarize of conventional ammunition for all U.S. military services. From its headquarters in Rock Island, Ill., JMC operates a nationwide network of ammunition manufacturing plants and storage depots, and maintains a global presence wherever U.S. combat units are stationed or deployed.