Rock Island Arsenal

Location

Rock Island Arsenal Garrison (USAG-RIA) is an active U.S. Army facility located in Rock Island County on a 946-acre island in the Mississippi River, between Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, Illinois in an area known as the ‘Quad Cities’. Once a thriving riverboat community, the Quad Cities have embraced their history in the form of many summer festivals and the home of Riverboat Gambling. Today, Rock Island Arsenal is our nation’s largest government owned and operated arsenal. The base operator’s phone number is 309-782-6001 or DSN 312-793-6001.


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History

The importance of the island was identified as early as 1809, when it was set aside as a federal military reservation by an Act of Congress. It has played key parts in every major US conflict dating back to the Black Hawk War of 1832. In 1969, the arsenal was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1989, the original arsenal buildings were designated as National Historic Landmarks. A complete history of the installation, along with a mini virtual tour is available on the Rock Island Arsenal homepage.

Mission

Rock Island Arsenal Garrison provides quality facilities and excellent base operations support and services to all installation tenants in the areas of law enforcement, crime prevention, security management, fire, safety, information management, facilities engineering, housing, maintenance of buildings and roads, and transportation. The Garrison maintains telecommunications facilities and common resources, as well as community amenities and necessary services for morale, welfare, and recreation. A high quality of living and working ensures equal opportunity for all civilian employees, war fighters, and family members.

Population Served

Rock Island Arsenal Garrison is an Army base that serves all branches of service, including our National Guard and Army Reserve Troops. We are primarily a civilian installation with over 8170 civilian employees located here. Our Active Duty military population is around 817. RIA-G also hosts a handful of Active Duty Marines, Navy and Coast Guard in the Navy Marine Corps Reserve Center located on the West end of the installation. Major commands on the installation include First Army, Army Sustainment Command (ASC), Joint Munitions Command (JMC) and the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC).

Base Transportation

Rock Island Arsenal does not operate any shuttle or taxi services, however, local taxi companies are allowed on post. Additionally, MetroLINK operates a busline that will drop off and pick up personnel at key installation locations including the commissary/PX area.

Sponsorship

Sponsorship and Youth Sponsorship are both available at USAG-RIA. For Civilian Sponsorship, please contact the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, 309-782-1206, DSN 312-793-1206. For Youth Sponsorship, contact the Children and Youth Services, 309-782-6515, DSN 312-793-6515or the Relocation Assistance Program, 309-782-0816, DSN 312-793-0816. Due to the large number of tenant organizations on the installation, Military Sponsorship is handled through your individual command. See the Major Unit Listings for contact details.

There is no central In-Processing point for military personnel. All new personnel should report according to their command’s directions. Personnel reporting after hours or on weekends are directed to go to the Police Desk, located at the corner of Rodman and Gillespie Avenues. We strongly encourage new individuals to set up a P.O. Box for forwarding your mail until you can get settled. This can either be handled through your local Post Office, or your sponsor may be able to assist.

Temporary Housing

Rock Island Arsenal does not have a temporary lodging facility. For a list of local hotels that offer discounted (per diem) rates to Rock Island Arsenal personnel use the following website http://riamwr.com/ and check under local hotels.

Relocation Assistance

Army Community Service Relocation Program Manager can assist you with an introduction to the area and the installation, and answer any questions you may have. Newcomer Orientation Tours are available on a regular basis. The Relocation Program also operates the Lending Closet, located in Building 110. Welcome Packets are available in both paper form and CD-ROM. The CD-ROM version includes live links to various services. The Relocation Program Manager can also assist with setting up Youth Sponsorship (a pen pal program) for school age children. For further information contact the Relocation Program Manager at 309-782-0816, DSN 312-793-0816.

Critical Installation Information

The Midwest has four distinct seasons. There is usually some minor flooding in the spring along the Mississippi River and Rock River. You should carefully consider the consequences before selecting housing along the riverbanks where it is prone to flood.

  • Both Illinois and Iowa have strict seatbelt and child safety seat laws for children 80 lbs and under.
  • Government housing is limited. Most military families end up living in the local community. Additionally, three bedroom rental properties are at a premium. Be prepared to adjust your standards and desires when searching for rental property.
  • School busing is not provided by the Illinois Quad Cities school districts. Children living in Family Housing on Rock Island Arsenal are provided busing by USAG-RIA.
  • Most gas and electric companies in the area will offer a budget billing plan for homes that have been previously occupied. It is recommended that you accept this offer, as gas bills can reach several hundred dollars during the winter months and cause unexpected hardship. Budget billing will maintain the level of your bill each month at a similar rate.