According to a senior commander, the future of the Rock Island Arsenal looks bright.
"We're in a good place with Rock Island," said Maj. General Duane Gamble, on Wednesday, May 24. "There's not even a good rumor that I've heard floating around about the next BRAC, or the island being vulnerable."
The Arsenal nearly closed for good in 2005, but it's poising to survive another possible Base Realignment and Closure hearing in 2021.
"The reason I'm fairly confident that the island is in a good place is the momentum and inertia going on," he continued.
Speaking during a contracting symposium in Moline, he credits how the Arsenal embraces change and its workforce.
During challenging times, the Arsenal is finding new ways to make things.
"We're focused on growing Rock Island Arsenal," he continued. "We've focused on maximizing the readiness that the organizations on Rock Island Arsenal generate for our Army."
Investment also shows that the Arsenal plans to stick around. New housing, set to debut in coming days, adds to its appeal and value.
"I know we wouldn't be doing that if we really thought that the island was in jeopardy of closing," he continued.
The Arsenal is adding an Illinois National Guard unit in 2018, along with more than 100 civilian jobs. It remains the area's top employer with some 6,100 workers.
The ASC is the largest two-star command in the Army. With nearly 900 local employees, including 520 civilians evenly divided between Iowa and Illinois, it has a global impact with local support.
"In military terms, we call it the center of gravity," he concluded. "It's where you draw your strength from. We draw our strength from the Quad Cities."
This historic collaboration now aims at a bright future for the Rock Island Arsenal.