ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. – The U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command welcomed five military officials from the Brazilian army and four members from U.S. Army South to its headquarters at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, and the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Kentucky.
This was the first visit by the Brazilian army to JMC and was an important opportunity to strengthen the United States-Brazil strategic defense relationship. ARSOUTH works with foreign partner-nation armies in the Caribbean and Latin America, and promotes an exchange of ideas and experiences related to matters of common interest to increase cooperation.
Brig. Gen. Gavin Gardner, JMC’s commanding general, greeted Maj. Gen. Heremeson Nobrega Barros de Oliveira and officers from the Brazilian Army Logistics Support Base, and Col. Darren Bowser, U.S. Army South chief of sustainment, and his team thanking them all for their efforts to travel to the U.S. to improve upon the munitions storage and reliability mission in Brazil.
“JMC appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with the Brazilian army as they work to improve their munitions programs,” Gardner said. “This collaboration, guided by U.S. Army South, continues to build and strengthen our world partnerships.”
Ensuring the safety and reliability of ammunition and explosives in the munitions stockpile is essential to the life-cycle management process. The Ammunition Stockpile Reliability Program consists of three major programs: the ammunition surveillance program, stockpile function test program, and the stockpile laboratory test program. The ASRP includes conventional and chemical ammunition, small and large rockets, and guided missile ammunition and materiel.
At JMC, 15 engineers in the quality directorate ensure ASRP efforts begin after a munition is accepted into the stockpile. Their diligence in administering these processes ensures Soldiers execute their missions with 100% confidence in their ammunition. During the visit, the Brazilian officers learned JMC’s ASRP structure, infrastructure, methodologies, and concepts to apply lessons learned and compare their practices to improve existing processes.
“This visit provided a successful exchange of information,” said Sara Schaich, JMC’s chief of the country program management division. “The information relayed by our team provided in-depth details on ammunition surveillance, the Ammunition Stockpile Reliability Program and what it takes to ensure reliable munitions. We provided the opportunity to visit a depot, so the Brazilian officers could experience a recapitalization maintenance line in action and learn directly from the experts who manage the stockpile at Blue Grass Army Depot.”
At Blue Grass Army Depot, the visitors were provided a tour of depot facilities and witnessed the depot’s efforts to manage the stockpile in real-time. Col. Stephen Dorris and his team shared their first-hand depot experiences so they may take lessons back to their country.
“As we evolve and modernize the Depot’s infrastructure in synchronization with the Army’s modernization strategy, we assess our core mission sets against current and emerging requirements to maximize viable and relevant storage capacity, optimize surge outload capacity, while emphasizing safety measures that meet or exceed established industry standards, to ensure successful strategic support to the Joint Warfighter,” Dorris said. “The ASRP is a tool we employ to additionally ensure we have confidence in the ammunition leaving the Depot for employment by Joint Warfighters.”
JMC has supported several visits from countries such as Korea, Australia, and Singapore in the past. Brazil’s visit has opened lines of official communication and will improve ammunition stockpile management procedures, as there are growing demands for efficiency and safety in the new century.
JMC and its 17 subordinate arsenals, depots and ammunition plants produce, store, distribute and demilitarize all conventional munitions for the U.S. Department of Defense. The enterprise is accountable for $59 billion of munitions and missiles.