Arsenal prepares to adapt to change


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Originally Posted Online: March 21, 2013, 10:30 pm
Last Updated: March 21, 2013, 11:38 pm
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By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com

DAVENPORT -- In a time of challenges and declining resources, the Rock Island Arsenal will have to adapt.

Army Brig. Gen. John F. Wharton, who took command of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command in September, envisions solidifying the Arsenal's role as the major logistical hub of the military, supplying combat troops with what they need.

The Arsenal must figure out how best to complete its mission as military funding decreases, he told local government officials and business leaders on Thursday at the Figge Art Museum.

"We're going to get less (money)," he said. "So how do we get better?"

Brig. Gen. Wharton said the military is still deeply involved in Afghanistan, and this may be the first time that defense spending has been cut with major military operations still under way. Traditionally, American defense spending spikes significantly during wartime and declines once the conflict is over.

Part of the shift he sees for the Arsenal is looking at other opportunities, such as roles involving information technology or business.

The Arsenal's challenges lie in a variety of areas -- from security and energy to social and economic. They include making sure its information infrastructure is secure and working to embrace more green energy within its operations.

"Like any organization, we're adapting along the way," he said.

Brig. Gen. Wharton also said he wants the Arsenal to be an integral part of a successful Quad-Cities. He thanked area representatives for how the community has conducted itself in relation to the Arsenal.

The island is the area's largest employer. Its employees have an average salary of more than $77,000, and the Arsenal pumps millions of dollars into the area economy, according to information provided during the general's talk.

He said that among the things the Quad-Cities brings to its relationship with the Arsenal are values and sincerity -- something not always found in similar relationships.

The sustainment command, created in 2006, includes about 300 military personnel, 2,200 civilian employees and 70,000 contractor employees. It provides front-line logistical support to U.S. combat forces wherever and whenever they're deployed, he noted.

The Army Materiel Command, part of the ASC, employs about 4,000 people at the Arsenal.

Brig. Gen. Wharton took over from D. Scott Welker, a civilian member of the senior executive service who had led the ASC for several months. Mr. Welker stayed on as deputy to the commander.



















 




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  Today is Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.




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