ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill - Dignitaries from local and higher commands cut the ribbon to open the Sensors and Lasers Distribution Center (SLDC) at Rock Island Arsenal Wednesday.

"The SLDC delivers Program Manager Soldiers, Sensors and Lasers (PM SSL) products on time to meet Army unit's needs," said Richard Nesbitt, Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (RIA-JMTC) deputy commander.

The SLDC became operational in Sept. 1, 2012, allowing RIA-JMTC to fulfill the PM SSL logistics mission by providing products to support the Total Package Fielding (TPF) missions to the war fighter. Col. Michael Sloane, PM SSL, visited RIA-JMTC to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony and to access the SLDC's capabilities. "The SLDC collectively has not missed a single mission," said Sloane. "It turned out better than I thought and it has met and exceeded my expectations to date."

"Distribution of materials, including sensors and lasers products from its warehouse, to warfighters globally is the major mission of the SLDC," said Nesbitt. "We are proud to be the new distribution point for PM SSL, providing logistics and warehouse operations to support the military."

"What this is about is getting the required materials to the Soldiers as fast as possible," said Richard Lorenzen, director of supply chain management RIA-JMTC.

Officials from TACOM-Life Cycle Management Command Warren, Mich., RIA-JMTC and Fort Belvoir, Va. recognized the hard work of the employees in the supply chain management directorate and across the factory. "They have done incredible work in getting this building up and running," said Nesbitt.

"The SLDC is such an important part of the pieces pulled together to support our warfighter," said Joe Pearson, director of logistics, PM SSL. "It is not about us, it is about the Soldiers and you all have a key part to play."

When the SLDC capabilities moved from Middle River, Va. to RIA, there was some nervousness. "When Joe (Pearson) proposed we move it to RIA I was skeptical," said Sloane. "Joe assured me the mission would stay as strong or better than the missions conducted at Middle River."

"I was nervous also," said Pearson. "The first time I came up here, meeting and talking with the SLDC employees I knew we hit a homerun. This is a win-win for TACOM-LCMC, the program manger's shop and the Army."

"Once we took over this mission here collectively, we pushed forward to make it happen in the prescribed time," said Fredrick Matchem, TACOM-LCMC small arms product support integration directorate. "It was short but it shows the teamwork we have. We have come a long way and I am happy about the hard work we put in to make this mission successful."

The RIA-JMTC SLDC logistic and warehouse operation is a success and will continue to support the war fighter through the direction of the PM SSL.