The Secretary of the Army, Pete Geren designated the Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing as a Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for Mobile Maintenance, Wednesday.

The Arsenal was designated the CITE specifically for their work with the Forward Repair System (FRS) and Shop Equipment Contract and Maintenance (SECM). In a memo from the Secretary of the Army, "The RIA-JMTC has proven expertise in the overhaul of the Forward Repair System and Shop Equipment and Maintenance systems."

"This speaks volumes about Army confidence in our capabilities and highlights for all to see the great value of our workforce here in the Quad Cities," said Col. Craig S. Cotter, commander Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center.

Being named a CITE allows the RIA-JMTC to enter into partnerships to perform work which will enhance its maintenance core competencies.

"This is a great recognition for both us and the community," said Cotter. "This allows us more opportunities to partner with private industry to help us make combat systems that will protect America's fighting forces."

Both the FRS and the SECM celebrated their 1000th unit produced at RIA-JMTC in Summer 2008. The Army began design efforts for the FRS at the RIA-JMTC in 1998 and began delivering production units in 2000. Over 1,300 have been produced to date. The current version of the SECM has been in production since April of 2007 1,600 produced to date. The production line for these two systems has received national recognition for excellence in lean manufacturing principles. They won silver and gold Shingo Awards in 2006 and 2007.