PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (May 3, 2010) -- The Army's second-highest civilian visited Picatinny April 29 for the first time since he was sworn in as the 30th under secretary of the Army in September 2009.

Dr. Joseph Westphal, under secretary of the Army and the Army's first chief management officer, visited Picatinny to tour the installation, receive updates on the current and future technology being developed here for the military and learn about Picatinny's business practices.

Westphal said he visited Picatinny because he wanted to, "acknowledge the good work the men and women are doing here in support of our Soldiers. The work they've been doing here has been significant the last couple of years, so as we continue to modernize our Army I think it's important for us to come and really focus on the specifics of that and get some ideas of where the technologies are leading us."

As the chief management officer, Westphal oversees the business operations of the Army enterprise.

During the visit, he spent several hours with Picatinny's leadership, reviewing management operations and learning more about the installation's technological support to the warfighter.

He also toured several Picatinny laboratories and facilities, including the Protoyping Integration Facility where new products and manufacturing processes are designed.

In addition, he met with Army program management officers and research teams based here whose development programs include the lightweight mortar systems and small arms, remote weapons systems, the M-777 155mm lightweight cannon and precision-guided munitions, such as the Excalibur 155mm GPS-guided artillery projectile and Precision-Guidance Kits.

Some of these items are already seeing service in Afghanistan.

He advised those employees who work "in the trenches" here, to use creativity and innovation as they improve their work, adding that individuals who don't hold engineering degrees can also add practical value to systems.

Picatinny plays a unique role in the United State's ability to wage war. No other comprehensive armaments facility like it exists in the country. It is the source of more than 90 percent of the lethal mechanisms used by the Army and other military services, making it a true Department of Defense Center.

In an effort to streamline the acquisition process and deliver the armaments to Soldiers when they need them - and at an affordable price - Picatinny has established increasingly close partnerships with universities and industry partners, involving them in collaborative efforts early in the research and development process.

The arsenal uses unique laboratories and special facilities to evaluate prototype designs, thus reducing development cycle time.