Here’s how the Rock Island Arsenal is supporting Ukraine’s fight

Cherie Bustos

We all know the Rock Island Arsenal for its role in manufacturing munitions. But this local powerhouse is also home to an operation playing a key role in supporting Ukraine. 

Along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Sustainment Command and the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, the Rock Island Arsenal also houses Joint Munitions Command — a team charged with overseeing the production and distribution of every single piece of ammunition used by our military.

The men and women at the Joint Munitions Command are leading some of the most important work happening on the ground in Eastern Europe — ensuring that American service members and our allies are properly trained to use everything from missiles to small arms ammunition. 

The United States is providing more than 60 million rounds of ammunition to Ukraine as part of our military assistance — resources I was proud to vote for as we help defend Ukraine’s democracy against Russia’s attacks. But the logistics around manufacturing and deploying this equipment are highly complex, and it takes the experts at the Rock Island Arsenal to get the job done. 

Since the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, our nation has deployed roughly 12,000 service members to Europe to support NATO allies and partners and deter further aggression from Russia. Among those are about a dozen Joint Munitions Command experts from across the country. And all of the work these experts are undertaking in Eastern Europe is being led in the Quad-Cities. 

Completing site visits and inspections, coordinating training on safety, storage and mobilization of ammunition and explosives … this is the work that folks from right here in our community are leading to get functioning, reliable equipment to Ukraine. And their efforts are critical to ensuring that American service members and our allies stay safe along the way. 

As someone who’s represented the Quad Cities and the Rock Island Arsenal for nearly a decade in Congress, I want to be sure to highlight the important work of Joint Munitions Command and our region’s role in arming the people of Ukraine against Russia’s attacks. A strong Rock Island Arsenal means a strong Quad Cities — and I’ll keep working to bring resources to the Arsenal until my very last day in office. 

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, represents the 17th Congressional District of Illinois, which includes the Quad-Cities, Rockford, Peoria and 150 communities in between.

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