Story by Debralee Best on 06/19/2019ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. The Rock Island Arsenal-Joint Manufacturing & Technology Center held an Ambulance ceremony to signify a newly signed Public-Private Partnership or P3 with AM General for production of the M997A3 Ambulance, at Rock Island Arsenal, June 14.
The ceremony marked the continuation of the partnership between RIA-JMTC and AM General with speakers including Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL; Maj. Gen. Daniel G. Mitchell, commanding general, U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command; Col. Martin J. "Jimmy" Hendrix III, commander, RIA-JMTC; Andy Hove, president and CEO, AM General and Paul Rumler, president and CEO, Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.
"I believe in the men and women who work in this arsenal and what we're here today to talk about is the next chapter, moving forward from here and the good news is we're going to be part of the future of this effort," said Durbin.
The first M997A3 Ambulance was manufactured and assembled at RIA-JMTC in 2011. Full Rate Production began in 2014. National Guard and Reserve Soldiers in 21 states and various overseas locations have received these ambulances.
"Thanks to this partnership with AM General we are now able to continue producing these all important ambulances for active duty Soldiers out there in the field," said Hendrix.
RIA-JMTC signed a Partnership Agreement and Basic Ordering Agreement with AM General. The Long Term Agreement was signed for approximately 2,800 M997A3 Ambulances over a five-year period. During this partnership, RIA-JMTC will continue to manufacture the same components, assemble the shelter and integrate it to the furnished AM General Chassis. AM General is responsible for purchasing and providing all raw materials to RIA-JMTC to manufacture components and supply all purchase items and hardware to the assembly line.
"I could not think of two organizations more dedicated to serving the Army than AM General and Rock Island Arsenal in the entire country and that has been our driving hope from the time we began the partnership," said Hove.
RIA-JMTC and AM General representatives said they are looking forward to combining their expertise and see great success in this partnership.
"The beauty of the partnership is that is combines the best skill sets of the Army's industrial industry partners with our own organic industrial capabilities," said Mitchell. "This agreement allows the Army to benefit from AM General's flexibility to work directly with vendors to ensure on time delivery and supply chain management and allows the arsenal to focus on their core manufacturing and assembly competencies."
According to Durbin, this partnership helps solidify the future of RIA-JMTC.
"Some of us with long memories remember when they might not have called the arsenal. Those days have changed. You come to the arsenal for the best," said Durbin. "This partnership between government and private industry to turn out high quality equipment for our Warfighter is just one more sign to me and to everyone who cares to watch that Rock Island is not only here to stay, but here to contribute to the 21st century defense of the United States of America."
The M997A3 Ambulance is the most modern ambulance in the fleet, according to Mitchell. It provides support to all Armed Services to provide homeland security and natural disaster relief as well as combat operations.
"This partnership is about delivering readiness," said Mitchell. "No matter the equipment or the part, when a Warfighter needs something, the country's industrial base delivers to ensure the Army is ready to carry out its mission."
"We are focused on building rugged, world-class, highly-reliable, highly-ready vehicles," said Hove.