Skip to main content

Joint Munitions Command moves critical Cartridge Case Mission to Rock Island Arsenal

On April 9, the Joint Munitions Command broke ground on a $19 million project at Building 299 on Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Ill. The ceremony marked the first step toward bringing a new industrial mission from Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant in Riverbank, Calif., to the Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Ill. Dignitaries who spoke at the ceremony included Congressman Phil Hare from Illinois’ 17th District and Brig. Gen. Larry Wyche from JMC.

“Today we take the first step towards bringing a unique manufacturing capability to this wonderful installation,” said Hare.

A portion of Building 299 is being remodeled in order to begin manufacturing deep-drawn steel cartridge cases for Stryker and Navy Gun ammunition at the Arsenal. They will also be able to produce brass cartridge cases for Navy, artillery, and tank shells.

“Each day, we keep in our minds the Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who need our products,” said Wyche.

The steps involved in moving this mission include refurbishing the building, moving the specialized equipment, testing the system, and then producing the cartridges.

Approximately 170,000 square feet of space must be renovated to accommodate the 4,500 ton hydraulic presses that create the cartridge cases. To house these presses, the roof must be raised 20 feet and a 15-foot pit dug into the floor. Other improvements include installing offices and restrooms. Building renovations are being conducted by Alacran/O&S Joint Venture and coordinated by the Louisville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Yesterday, representatives from Rock Island Arsenal, BRAC, Alacran/O&S Joint Venture and the Corps met for the 100 percent design review. Today, we move forward toward a construction start with expected completion April 17, 2010,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Bales, deputy commander for the Louisville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Alacran/O&S is committed to providing the Rock Island Arsenal, the Louisville Corps of Engineers, and especially NI Industries with a quality construction project and looks forward to beginning the work,” said Mike Close, vice president of federal business development for the contractor conducting the renovation project, Alacran Contracting, LLC.

The Arsenal is receiving this mission under the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure law recommendation number 151. This work is currently being done at Riverbank. Norris Industries operates the Riverbank plant for the Army. Riverbank will close in 2010 and production will begin at the Arsenal in 2012. Norris Industries will continue to operate the cartridge case line at the Arsenal, and they will have approximately 40-50 employees involved in the production.

Manufacturing ammunition cartridge cases for America’s warfighter is part of the JMC mission. JMC provides bombs and bullets to America’s fighting forces – all services, all types of conventional ammunition from bunker buster bombs to rifle rounds. To learn more visit