By Tony LopezApril 16, 2018
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- The Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command and Joint Munitions Command held a Relinquishment of Command Ceremony here, April 17, at Constitution Square.
Brig. Gen. Heidi J. Hoyle relinquished the command of JM&L LCMC and JMC to Rhonda VanDeCasteele, after serving nine months as the command's senior leader. VanDeCasteele will serve as the Executive Director until Brig. Gen. John Laskodi takes command. He has been selected to serve as the new commanding general for both organizations, but will not arrive until a later date.
Gen. Gustave F. Perna, Commanding General, Army Materiel Command, served as the officiating officer of the relinquishment. He spoke of Hoyle's significant accomplishments as the JMC Commander and wished her well as she becomes the next Chief of Ordnance at the Army Ordnance School at Fort Lee, Va.
"Under Brig. Gen. Hoyle's leadership, JMC closed out the fiscal year by distributing more than 350 thousand short tons of ammunition around the world to our entire military for both training and operational purposes," said Perna during his relinquishment remarks. "It takes men and women back here far away from the combat zone to remain focused on the mission, remain focused on readiness and remain focused on the Warfighter. That is why this command exists."
"We passed the JMC colors," he noted. "The responsibility of the command also passed when we passed those colors."
"Thank you for joining us today as we say goodbye to Brig. Gen. Heidi Hoyle and entrust our leadership in Rhonda VanDeCasteele, in the command of Joint Munitions Command," added Perna.
"Heidi on behalf of the entire AMC Family and the hundreds of thousands of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guard personnel that you supported, thank you for a job well done. And I wish you and Demetrious the very best as you relocate to Fort Lee."
Hoyle reflected on her time as the JMC leader. "Demetrious and I are quite honored to be recognized today. The Rock Island Arsenal, the Quad Cities and Joint Munitions Command will always have a special place in our heart. We will miss this place and all the people who have welcomed us."
"I was able to enjoy my time as your Commanding General and absolutely consider it one of my best assignments. Rarely do commanders have the opportunity to command across such a dispersed geographic area and for such an important commodity. So if you think about an Army without ammunition- it doesn't turn out so well, does it? The Warfighters' that we support have the need for that dependable ammunition that our 25 Soldiers, 5,000 Civilians, and approximately 5,000 contractors across JMC provided each and every day.
"Every round that we produced and every round that we provided is ready, reliable and lethal," she added.
"Our time here was short. We will miss Rock Island. So in closing, thank you to the employees for what you do every day. Munitions at the Speed of War. Army Strong!" concluded Hoyle.
Hoyle previously served as the Executive Officer to the Executive Deputy of Army Materiel Command, at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. She is a native of Bay City, Michigan and was commissioned as an Ordnance Officer following her graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1994. She has served in many command and staff positions during her military career.
The Joint Munitions & Lethality Life Cycle Management Command is co-located at the Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois and Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. The JM&L LCMC aligns three organizations to execute the Army's munitions and lethality mission: the Program Executive Office for Ammunition; the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center; and, the Joint Munitions Command.
Joint Munitions Command produces small-, medium- and large-caliber ammunition items for the Department of Defense. The primary mission of JMC is to manage the production, storage, issue, and demilitarization of conventional ammunition for all U.S. military services. JMC is the sustainment and logistics integrator for life-cycle management of ammunition and provides a global presence of technical support to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed.