Munitions have been managed at the Arsenal here since the 70's. But in 2002, this vital mission got a major makeover, and a Command now focused exclusively on ammunition.Their new name was Joint Munitions Command, and they just celebrated their tenth anniversary.
If it's ammunition used by the U.S. Military, "Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army Reserves, National Guard," says Brigadier General Kevin G. O'Connell. Whether it's bullets, bunker buster bombs, or missiles, it's managed by Joint Munitions Command, Headquartered at the Rock Island Arsenal. They oversee what the Commanding General describes as a global enterprise for munitions.
"We've got locations across the continental United States and 14 different locations where we produce, store, distribute, and then demilitarize munitions," says General O'Connell. Those plants are located everywhere from Virginia to Nevada, and Iowa to Oklahoma. The Command Headquarters has about 750 employees, and a big job. "What the workforce does back here is we plan, coordinate, synchronize, supervise, the orchestration of munitions all over the world," the General says.
When it comes to the amount of ammunition they manage, the numbers are staggering. General O'Connell says, "Since the conflict started with Iraq and Afghanistan, we've shipped over 300–thousand tons of munitions to the Middle East." All told, JMC has over 14 thousand employees, 99 percent civilians, with an annual budget of 1.7 Billion dollars.
As the conflict winds down for the U–S in Afghanistan, General O'Connell says JMC will be busy getting unused munitions back to the U.S. And it does not mean a major slowdown for JMC. "We've still got about 90% of the same mission because of the training requirements, so 90% of what we work with goes to training units whether they're Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines," he says.
Because two thirds of JMC'S motto is being ready and reliable and that mission, never ends. So how much is JMC actually in charge of? They say they manage an ammunition stockpile valued at over $39 billion.
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