ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Jeffrey White, the principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, visited the Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center Feb. 7.

This was White's first trip to RIA-JMTC since assuming his position with the assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology office, or ASA(ALT). RIA-JMTC is the U.S. Army's multipurpose metal manufacturing arsenal that designs, manufactures and delivers readiness solutions to the Army and joint services. The Arsenal has been designated by the secretary of Army as a Center for Industrial and Technical Excellence for mobile maintenance, add-on armor and foundry operations.

The visit, led by Col. Ken Letcher, RIA-JMTC commander, allowed White to better grasp the variety of capabilities available at RIA-JMTC and how the Arsenal, and other organic industrial bases, can best support Army readiness.

White's role as the principal deputy is critical to ongoing efforts to prioritize the needs of America's military as the force modernizes, building greater capacity and capabilities in the longer term. White advises the assistant secretary and Army leadership on all matters relating to Army acquisition, procurement, research and development, and logistics, while also participating in the development of policies, programs and processes for the execution of the Army's acquisition efforts.

White's visit to RIA-JMTC focused on how to optimize capabilities in the organic industrial base facility. While at the Arsenal, White toured six of 28 buildings that make up more than 3 million square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space here. He was shown more than 16 capabilities that RIA-JMTC has under one roof, including assembly, plating, painting, foundry operations, welding, fabrication, small arms repair part manufacturing, heat treating, non-destructive testing and others.

"When you look at the capability you have here at Rock Island, and the other arsenals and depots, we need to figure out how we can better leverage you guys and your capability," said White. "If we don't maintain the capability in our industrial base, where does that leave us in times of war or conflict?"