ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. --Michael Hutchison, the new deputy to the commander, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, was welcomed and his predecessor, Scott Welker, was honored during a ceremony in Heritage Hall, here, Dec. 14.

The deputy to the commander is a senior executive service member who heads the business operations at ASC. The deputy also serves as the senior civilian advisor to the commanding general, an important role at ASC because it is primarily comprised of civilian personnel.

Maj. Gen. Kevin O'Connell, commanding general, ASC, has been without a deputy to the commander since June. He said he wanted to both welcome Hutchison and say farewell to Welker.

"This ceremony is about welcoming Mr. Hutchison … but I would really be remiss if we did not also properly say farewell Mr. Welker," O'Connell said.

"These are two great leaders," he said. "We need leaders like these who have broad vision, who have the technical skills and the expertise to fit the big picture together."

O'Connell praised Welker for his contributions to the command.

"Scott played a key role in shaping the organization, giving it the structure it needs for success, and turning that vision into reality," he said. "In our time together, I grew to rely on Scott and to trust him. He gave me great advice, kept me well informed. His experience and insights were invaluable."

After his opening speech, O'Connell presented Welker with two awards: the Department of the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and the General Somervell Medal of Excellence.

During his speech, Welker reminisced about several of the operations he was a part of throughout his 21 years of working for the command. Welker helped start the Army Field Support Command in 1994, which eventually became ASC.

"I've been proud to be a part of a great, great team," he said. "There are still a lot of things to do, a lot of things I wanted to do that are unfinished, and I think Mike is going to be good at picking up where I left off."

"I am leaving the command in good hands with Mike, he will do wonderful things for the command, and he has a lot to learn," Welker later said. "My job at the command was to primarily run the business side, and Mike will be great at that."

Welker is now serving as the Joint Munitions Command deputy to the commander at Rock Island Arsenal.

Hutchison was the Army Contracting Command deputy to the commander in Huntsville, Alabama, before coming to ASC. Before that he served as executive director at ACC-Rock Island. O'Connell said he is pleased to have Hutchison return to RIA.

"He knows more about government contracting and acquisition than anyone I have ever met, and trust me, there's a lot to know," O'Connell said. "Like Scott, I know Mike is someone I can rely on and trust; someone who will earn my confidence and the confidence of any commanding general who will come after me."

Hutchison said he is glad to be in his new position.

"I am proud to return to Rock Island and to this high-performing organization we know as [ASC]," he said. "This Command continues to excel at the missions assigned to it, as evidenced by the fact that [the Department of the Army] and [Army Material Command] continue to assign new missions here."

Hutchison said he hopes to help ASC succeed even as the Army downsizes. He also said that one of his main priorities is to support the civilian workforce.

"To our civilian and military teammates here in ASC, I look forward to working with you on the challenges ahead," he said. "Working together, we will ensure the culture, traditions and developmental needs of both parts of our workforce are equally understood and respected."