The anniversary is coming. On February 5th, The Redstone Rocket newspaper will celebrate 65 years on the job. Yes, the Rocket's first issue came in 1952, and the mission then is still the mission now.
"To communicate to the workforce that the communication has always been historically an important thing, and to communicate to the workforce what we're doing, where we're going, and what is expected," said Claus Martell, the Acting Army Materiel Command's Historian.
With just a few exceptions, The Redstone Rocket has been reliably published 50 weeks a year since that first issue. The total as of January 13, 2017 is 3,307 issues.
The Rocket certainly hasn't missed much that went on at Redstone Arsenal. Among the big events, the naming of the original, world-changing Redstone Missile. The Rocket was there for the creation of Marshall Space Flight Center in 1960. It covered the visit of President John F. Kennedy. It had all the stories about the development of both the Saturn V moon rocket, and the Space Shuttle, and the Rocket continues to cover Redstone's contribution to both Army aviation and missiles. The Rocket is always there.
"We have the humble responsibility, the great responsibility of telling the stories of Team Redstone," said Skip Vaughn, a 36-year employee of the Rocket and the paper's current editor.
The Rocket tells the complete story of things on the base, from each new Commanding Officer's words, to the paper's popular classified section, to the current and ongoing series of interviews with Vietnam veterans. The Redstone Rocket is Redstone Arsenal's story.
"We could not record the history of what we do at Redstone Arsenal without The Redstone Rocket," said Martell.
Most every week 40,000 papers are published, and all of them have the same requirement.
"We have 40 to 48 blank pages every week and we're able to fill it. That's a source of pride," said Vaughn.
The five people who put out The Rocket take pride in what they produce, and in what it's really all about.
"There's so many great people here, soldiers and civilians, and their stories need to be told," said Vaughn.
To view those stories in the past several issues on the internet edition go to theredstonerocket.com/eedition