ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- The future is now for the Joint Munitions Command headquarters workforce as far as quality is concerned.

Employees with JMC headquarters participated in introductory training to ISO 9001:2008 standards in the area of Quality Management System. The three-plus-hour long training sessions began in late January and will continue into March.

In an email to the workforce, Brig. Gen. Gustave F. Perna, commanding general, JMC, stated the importance of the certification.

"Implementation of a Quality Management System that meets the ISO 9001:2008 standard, adds to JMC's strong record of continuous improvement. Through implementation of ISO 9001 we are strengthening our systems for management responsibility, resource management, product and service design, delivery, measurement, analysis, and continual improvement," he wrote.

ISO is an international standards organization. It develops and provides standards that are used world-wide for applying and assessing best practices across a wide range of technical products and services.

ISO 9001 is a globally recognized standard for implementing a Quality Management System.

Perna said the command's goal is to have JMC HQ ISO 9001 certified within the next 18-24 months.

Steve Tutt, director of the command's continuous improvement office, discussed the importance and path forward of ISO at JMC headquarters.

"ISO stresses that an organization is making sure the quality management system is effective and meeting customer expectations," Tutt said.

Tutt said in implementing the ISO standards at the headquarters level, the command's continuous improvement team will take lessons learned from the launch of Lean Six Sigma in 2005, as well as certified ISO installations throughout JMC.

To date, 10 JMC subordinate organizations have qualified for ISO 9001: Tooele Army Depot, Tooele, Utah; McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, McAlester, Okla.; Blue Grass Army Depot, Richmond, Ky.; Defense Ammunition Center, McAlester, Okla.; Crane Army Ammunition Activity, Crane, Ind.; Pine Bluff Arsenal, Pine Bluff, Ark.; Letterkenny Munitions Center, Chambersburg, Pa.; Anniston Munitions Center, Anniston, Ala.; and the Army government staffs at Iowa (Middletown) and Lake City Army Ammunition (Independence, Mo.) Plants. Operating contractors from the various government-owned, government-operated plants are ISO 9001-2008 certified.

Many installations also have ISO 14001 (environment) and ISO/OHSAS 18001 (safety) certifications, and are beginning the work to become certified ISO 50001 (energy). ISO 9001, establishing a quality management system, is the foundation of the ISO system.

The Quality Assurance Directorate within JMC HQ is already 9001 certified.

Tutt also said everyone in the command will be involved in ISO in some way or another, since everyone is involved in providing quality services to JMC customers.

"There will be more training where needed, and everyone will get 'hands-on' experience with building and using our ISO 9001 management system," he said.

From its headquarters here, JMC operates a nationwide network of conventional ammunition manufacturing plants and storage depots, and provides on-site ammunition experts to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed. JMC's customers are U.S. forces of all military services, other U.S. Government agencies, and allied nations.