PINE BLUFF ARSENAL, Ark. -- The Joint Munitions Command's commanding general paid the Pine Bluff Arsenal one last visit wearing his JMC hat.

Brig. Gen. (promotable) Gustave F. Perna visited PBA during a one-day tour April 18, which will likely be his last as JMC commanding general. The visit was part of his "whirlwind tour" where he visited all five JMC government-owned, government-operated April 16-20.

Perna emphasized that the industrial base must adapt to the new budget world the Department of Defense finds itself in.

"If we want to be viable, and compete with industry, and provide for national defense, we must be (Volunteer Protection Program), ISO 9001, ISO 50001. The labels certify that we are the best," he said.

About ISO 50001 and the need to reduce energy costs he said, "in the future, energy will kill us. I just learned that we may be charged for electricity at our (JMC) headquarters (in Rock Island).... The status quo will not make us successful."

He also said Congress will play a large role as the Department of Defense budgets go forward in the coming fiscal years.

"Secretary Panetta said last month that he wasn't going to plan for sequestration. (April 16), he said we were. Obviously that's a big change. (We're) going to plan for $500 billion reduction in January if there's sequestration. If we get sequestration, that will be the burning platform - get people to make decisions that are in the too-hard box now."

"Everything's easy when you're the number one priority. You have lots of money. It's when budgets are tight, that the work is hard."

Along with receiving an up-to-date matrix briefing, Perna toured the M118 smoke pot production line and the Quality Evaluation Facility (QEF) Lab.

According to Perna, Whirlwind was "well worth the effort" and "causes us to realize (the) impact of what we're doing"

Perna informed the group that he would return to PBA after he leaves JMC to conduct the arsenal's change of command ceremony between incoming commander Col. David L. Musgrave and outgoing commander Col. Franz J. Amann.

Pine Bluff Arsenal is a subordinate organization of the Joint Munitions Command and serves a critical role in the integrated defense acquisition, technology and logistics life cycle management system; to include technology development phase, engineering & manufacturing development phase, and production and operational support phase.

From its headquarters in Rock Island, Ill., 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.