REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (WHNT) - When you look at the Redstone Arsenal of today you see 40,000 people going to work every day. You also see a base that's more than just a place to work.
"Redstone is absolutely critical to the defense of our nation, and to the Army and to the Department of Defense," says Joe Fitzgerald, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army from north Alabama.
Fitzgerald calls Redstone crucial, and one small way that happens is through a small group of offices on base. The staff of PS Magazine turns out an issue a month.
"I describe it as a comic book," says Jonathan Pierce, the editor for PS Magazine. The question of course, how can a comic book be important? Well, this comic book uses graphic images to explain crucial maintenance problems and procedures to thousands of soldiers.
"Every time we can keep a vehicle operating or a weapon firing we have saved time, money, soldiers' safety... that's how important we are," says Pierce.
PS Magazine is just one part of The Logistics Support Activity, or LOGSA. LOGSA works for the Army Materiel Command, as do AMCOM, the Aviation and Missile Command, and AMRDEC, the Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center. The Army Contracting Command also works for AMC, as do several commands and agencies.
In all, there are some 72 different commands and agencies on base. Some work for the Army, some for the Department of Defense, and some stand alone, like Marshall Space Flight Center and the FBI. "We really are a federal center of excellence," says Redstone Garrison Commander Col. Bill Marks.
That's what Redstone is right this minute. The question though, will it continue to be that important, and what about 20 years from now? Will Redstone and the surrounding community remain critical to America?
"If everything went our way, we could be 60, 70, 80,000 folks. We could be a community of half a million without too much imagination," says Joe Fitzgerald.
Tomorrow, we'll go from the great present, to a possibly greater future. Our week of special reports on The Future of Redstone continues Tuesday evening on WHNT News 19 at 6:30 p.m.