JPEO Armaments & Ammunition hosts change of charter and retirement ceremony

By Abraam DawoudJune 9, 2023

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. – The Joint Program Executive Office Armaments & Ammunition (JPEO A&A) hosted a change of charter and retirement ceremony on June 2, as Col. Steven Power assumed responsibility of Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM MAS) from Col. Paul E. Alessio, who is retiring after 29 years of service.

Joint Program Executive Officer and Commanding General Picatinny Arsenal Brig. Gen. John T. Reim, described the incredible things Alessio has done for the nation and its allies around the world.

"Col. Alessio's team has been at the forefront of supporting the Army priorities of readiness and modernization with billions of rounds being delivered across the globe annually," said Reim. "We have gained significant credibility with our historic support to the Ukraine and a large portion of that credibility is directly attributed to Col. Alessio's work and leadership in PM MAS."

To date, the PM MAS team has delivered millions of nonstandard, small and medium caliber ammunition, as well as thousands of tank rounds to Ukraine, while simultaneously supporting the Army’s priorities of maintaining a modern and ready force.

Reim took the opportunity to thank Alessio’s wife, U.S. Army Col. Jennifer Alessio and their three children, Saoirse, Magnus, and Phaedra, for supporting him during his last duty assignment, noting the difficulties of being a dual military couple.

Reim then welcomed the Power family back to Picatinny Arsenal.

"Sara and Katelyn, welcome back to the JPEO A&A and Picatinny family. You join our team at a critical point in the JPEO Armaments and Ammunition history. We are literally rebuilding the Arsenal of Democracy, while simultaneously building the Army of 2040 [2030]," he said.

Power, who commissioned as an Armor officer, stated that he was using PM MAS products since day one.

"I was impressed then with how they (PM MAS) would respond to the needs of the operating forces," said Power. " I continued to be impressed with the people at PM MAS when I worked with them as the PM for Individual Weapons. PM MAS has a role in everything that our military does in the world, and I want to do my part to help."

Power previously served as the assistant product manager for the M1A1 variants at Product Manager Abrams, as well as assistant product manager on the Ground Combat Vehicle Program. His most recent assignment was the Enhanced Command Preparation program at the JPEO A&A in which he embedded with both acquisition and industry partners, gaining a deeper understanding of how the Army, develops, procures, and fields lethal armaments and ammunition.

"Our mission never ends," said Power. I'm grateful to have been awarded the opportunity to lead this team,"

Speaking to the audience at his joint change of charter and retirement ceremony, held at the Lindner Conference Center, Alessio began by thanking the PM MAS workforce.

"The PM MAS workforce is unique," he said. " They are tough, supremely intelligent, and all-in with dedication to a critical mission providing munitions that functions the first time every time-safely, reliably, and with lethal effects above and beyond any potential adversary."

During his 29 years of service in the Army, Alessio spent 13 of those years in various assignments at Picatinny Arsenal, having begun his product officer career at PM MAS as a major and ending it there as a colonel.

"I am told that it is a record, but I would say it is a gift from the Army," he said. "The constants that have not changed between my major and colonel assignments are the seriousness of our mission and the quality of our people and products."

Aside from providing all direct fire combat and training ammunition capabilities to warfighters, PM MAS is also charged with management responsibility providing reliable former Soviet-bloc ammunition to allies and partners alike.

“Ammunition must function the first time every time,” Alessio said. “You don't get a second chance, it either works or it doesn't... The outcome is the difference between a target's destruction or its ability to shoot back, that is the seriousness of this profession.”

During the ceremony, Reim awarded Alessio with the Legion of Merit, a 105mm round that was fired at Picatinny Arsenal in his honor, and presented him with a U.S. flag marking an end to Alessio's 29 years of service to the country.