Soldiers from the 181st Infantry Brigade, First Army, render honors with M2A2 105 mm howitzers during a change of responsibility ceremony at Rock Island Arsenal. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Ian M. Kummer)
Rock Island Arsenal Garrison is an active U.S. Army facility on a 946-acre island in the Mississippi River, between Davenport, Iowa, and Rock Island, Illinois. The arsenal is in an area known as the Quad Cities, a once thriving riverboat community. Today, Rock Island Arsenal Garrison is the nation’s largest government owned and operated arsenal.
Rock Island Arsenal Garrison serves all branches of service, including National Guard and Army Reserve troops. It is primarily a civilian installation, with more than 8,170 civilian employees. The active-duty military population is around 817. Major units and organizations on the installation include the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center; Army Sustainment Command; Edgewood Chemical Biological Center; First Army; Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center; and Joint Munitions Command. For a full list of units and tenants at Rock Island Arsenal, visit www.usagria.army.mil/About/tenants.aspx.MAJOR UNITS AND ORGANIZATIONS
Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center
The U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center is an internationally acknowledged hub for the advancement of armament technologies and engineering innovation. As one of the specialized research, development and engineering centers within the U.S. Army Materiel Command, ARDEC has the responsibility for meeting this critical demand. ARDEC’s workforce provides life cycle support for nearly 90 percent of the lethal Army systems used by U.S. war fighters.
Although ARDEC’s principal mission is to mature technologies for armament applications, it also looks for ways to transfer technologies to public use. ARDEC has transferred technologies to the law enforcement community such as non-lethal, aversive technologies for crowd control and a forcible entry device for breeching doors. Its military warheads expertise is helping the oil and gas industry develop more effective oil drilling technology. Its manufacturing technology program is transferring a variety of technologies to U.S. industry such as model-based control and environmentally safer manufacturing methods.
ARDEC has five sites. The majority of its workforce is at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey.
Army Sustainment Command
The Army Sustainment Command, headquartered on Rock Island Arsenal, bridges the national sustainment base to the soldiers in the field, bringing together the capabilities of the Army Materiel Command’s subordinate units to provide soldiers with the right equipment, at the right place and time, in the right condition. ASC is the command and control hub for global Army logistics. ASC has visibility of Army equipment and can provide prompt delivery to combat units in the United States and abroad.
ASC provides materiel management of major end items such as tanks, mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles and Strykers, and sustains, maintains and modernizes them for combat brigades. In addition to supporting combat operations, ASC provides support for natural disasters and humanitarian crises
Edgewood Chemical Biological Center
The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center is the primary Department of Defense technical organization for nonmedical chemical and biological defense. It is a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.
ECBC has chemical biological research and development infrastructure with scientists, engineers, technicians and specialists at Rock Island Arsenal; the Edgewood area of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; and Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
ECBC fosters research, development, testing and application of technologies for protecting war fighters, first responders and the nation from chemical and biological warfare agents. ECBC is currently developing better ways to remotely detect these chemical and biological materials — before the war fighter or first responder ever enters the threat zone. ECBC is also developing a new generation of technologies to counter everything from homemade explosives to biological aerosols to traditional and nontraditional chemical hazards.
First Army has the critical mission of partnering with all Army National Guard and Army Reserve units throughout the continental United States, providing advice, assistance and training support to commanders and soldiers to ensure reserve-component forces can fight and win in a complex world.
As Forces Command’s coordinating authority for implementation of Army Total Force Policy, First Army:
- Supports reserve-component pre-mobilization unit readiness with established relationships.
- Provides predictable training support that enables units to maximize collective training opportunities.
- Shapes and integrates tough, realistic and resourced collective training events in support of reserve commanders’ training objectives.
- Enables Forces Command to provide combatant commanders trained and ready reserve-component forces.
- Conducts post-mobilization operations to mobilize, train, validate, deploy and demobilize reserve-component forces.
First Army’s combined arms training brigades and multifunctional training brigades are geographically dispersed across the continental United States. First Army’s headquarters is at Rock Island Arsenal.
Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center
The Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center is the only multipurpose and vertically integrated metal manufacturer in the Department of Defense. The center possesses the unique technical expertise and equipment to manufacture products high in quality and sustainability. The center also reaches out to the community by offering machinist apprenticeships and other training programs to qualified applicants. The availability of centralized manufacturing and testing allows production to come full circle, thus minimizing the need to outsource.
Joint Munitions Command
The Joint Munitions Command is the latest in a series of commands since World War II that have managed the nation’s ammunition plants. Since 1973, those commands have been headquartered at Rock Island Arsenal.
JMC provides bombs and bullets to America’s fighting forces. The command provides all types of conventional ammo, from bunker-buster bombs to rifle rounds, to all services. JMC manages plants that produce more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition annually and the depots that store the nation’s ammunition for training and combat.