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The Arsenal and Army Need Predictable Consistent Funding


The Rock Island Arsenal will survive and thrive if the Army gets dependable, long-term funding. That was the message Wednesday from General Gus Perna, commanding general of the Army Materiel Command.

Perna has come to the Quad Cities for a quarterly meeting with local commanders. 

He oversees nine commands, including those on Arsenal Island, that provide soldiers with food, clothing, weapons, and other equipment. And that involves 120,000 civilian and contractor workers across the country and around the world.

He says it's difficult to do his job when the budget for defense is so uncertain.

"What I need is predictable and consistent funding. And if I don't receive predictable and consistent funding, then we don't make the right decisions in the long-run. We're not able to focus efforts properly - we have to make short-term decisions versus long-term decisions."

General Perna believes the Arsenal is critical to "Army readiness" because of what he calls its "artisan workforce."

"You don't bring this type of workforce in overnight. They're trained, they're mature, they're experienced, and they produce products that others cannot produce."

He took command of the Army Materiel Command last fall.

Perna also served on Arsenal Island as commander of the Joint Munitions Command from 2010 to 2012.