New commander takes charge at Radford Arsenal

By  | 

MONTGOMERY CO., Va. (WDBJ7) A new leader is now at the helm of the Radford Army Ammunition Plant.

Lieutenant Colonel James Scott will now face challenges very similar to previous leaders - environmental concerns topping the list.

"The environmental, the security, and the safety of the workforce are what's most important to me right now," said Lieutenant Colonel James Scott.

The new commander pledges to expand on initiatives of previous leaders. Lieutenant Colonel James Scott comes from Maryland where he was the chief of strategic planning for the 20th CBRNE Command that handles all the weapons of mass destruction challenges that face the nation. He's served across the country and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His focus at the Radford Arsenal is clear.

"We are vital to the nation, we're vital to America and the warfighter and we'll do everything we can to give the warfighter what they have," Scott said.

Friday morning, the transfer of colors ceremony, a military tradition, signified the official transfer of power from former commander Lieutenant Colonel Alicia Masson.

"I've really enjoyed the opportunity to be here. I've really enjoyed serving with the community in Radford," Masson said.

Masson was the first woman to take command of the Arsenal. She helped open communication to environmentalists and started community meetings to address their concerns. She also led the switch to natural gas power and the construction of a new nitrocellulose facility.

"We continue to refine and improve processes. We continue to get better at what we do. You've heard about all the environmental stuff I did, I'm not a scientist, my team did that. I empowered them to do it and just said no, keep going," Masson said.

Masson will now be assigned to a new position at the Pentagon and will have duty at USANCA.

The arsenal employs about 34 hundred people and produces most of the ammunition used by the U.S. military.

Commanders of the plant serve two year terms each.