Hundreds of years ago, it was common that castles and other fortresses were surrounded by lakes. This is the first line of defense against enemies and is also a way to make the building impenetrable. This was once the way to fight off invaders and to protect their own interests.

This principle was applied centuries ago, but somehow, this concept still lives to this day. This is the concept behind the Rock Island Arsenal, one of the largest repositories of weapons in America, and is the only wholly government owned arsenal that still exists to this day.

History of the Rock Island Arsenal

In the early 1800s, an island that stands along the banks of the Mississippi River was seized for the use of the government. It was not until 1816 that the island served it purpose, by the name of Fort Armstrong. Fort Armstrong is the first military installation set on the island, positioned to be near the Mississippi River.

In the years after the creation of Fort Armstrong, growing interests in the island encouraged the government to build infrastructures that would connect the island to the mainland. This was in the form of a railroad and a bridge system, which stands as a way to get on and off the island easier and without the need to use boats or other modes of transportation. This served as a way to bridge the arsenal to the outside world. Although the original bridge has been gone long ago, the concept of a bridge connecting the island for public and private use still exists to this day.

Since then, Fort Armstrong which is now widely known as the Rock Island Arsenal today stands strong as one of the great weapon manufacturing facilities in the world. This arsenal is the benchmark of other arsenals that have lived after the existence of Rock Island. Now, the Rock Island Arsenal is proud of two things; the expertise in weaponry and the history behind it. The weapons that you can see in combat today are most likely to have come from the Rock Island Arsenal. As with the history of Rock Island, the buildings, fortresses and other facilities which have been in existence in this area for quite some time now still lives as a testament to the history of the arsenal and everything that have been built, made and tested in this facility.

Facts and Figures about the Rock Island Arsenal

950 Acres

With 950 acres, the Rock Island Arsenal is planned to precision, and no space is wasted. The wide land area makes it possible to have numerous facilities spread around the island, while ensuring that the space is well utilized in the area. This also makes it possible to have living and working areas in the island for the use of its civilian workers and uniformed employees.

6000 Civilians

The 6000 civilians that work in the Rock Island Arsenal are the ones that are behind the manufacture of some of the most advanced weapons and armor for combat, for the benefit of the U.S. Armed Forces. They are the ones that ensure the proper operation and whenever possible, the safety of use of the weapons that are being made in the facility. Inasmuch as the Armed Forces is the body that represents the Rock Island Arsenal, the civilians that work and live in this island are the ones that make it possible.

Almost 200 Years of Arsenal Expertise

Starting out in the 1800s, the Rock Island Arsenal was once just a piece of land that was seized under the name of the military. Today, it is an island which employs thousands of people so that it can make some of the best weapons and gears for the Armed Forces. It is also the ideal place that can be used to test out these weapons, and the history and the prestige of this arsenal holds to the quality of the items that comes out of this island.

Mission of the Rock Island Arsenal

To Provide the Best Artillery and Weaponry in the Service of the U.S. Armed Forces

The Rock Island Arsenal is the only arsenal that is recognized under the name of the United State Department of Defense. This Island is synonymous to the ideals of the Department of Defense and its other areas, such as the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

With all of the devices, technology, craftsmanship and dedication, the Rock Island Arsenal is the only island that can have the capacity to make and to deliver the requirements for weaponry that America needs. It is a place that is being used by a public office for its very public services and ideals.

Giving a Conducive Working Environment for Civilians and the Troops.

Even if the Arsenal has a sinister past of being a detention facility, the Rock Island Arsenal is a place that is now being used to combine business with pleasure. The people who work in this arsenal is a combination of civilians and unformed men and women, which is why it is important to remember that the facility serves its purpose of becoming the ideal spot for providing a lively working environment which can encourage both civilian and unformed workers to do their best in their goal of manufacturing the beat weapons and defense devices that America has to offer.

To Keep Basic Resources for the Benefit of the People who Live and Work in the Rock Island Arsenal

The arsenal is a home away from home for people who work here. There are open lines of communication to the outside world, as well as activities and facilities dedicated to the family members of employees in this area. The museum which can be found in the Rock Island Arsenal is just one of the many facilities of this nature.

Back then, moats, lakes and bodies of water are used to defend against the invaders. Today, it is the ingenuity and the marksmanship of men and women of the Rock Island Arsenal which makes safety and security even outside a fortress possible.