HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Redstone Arsenal supports around half of our local economy, and each year the arsenal gives look behind the curtain, to shed some light on their achievements from the different agencies.
The different agencies on the arsenal manage more than 50-billion-dollars in federal spending, military leaders and senior executives from eight different agencies on Redstone Arsenal spoke today about the many missions and programs they are working on.
"What happens on the arsenal really drives what happens, on this side of the fence," said Mike Ward, the Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for the Huntsville Madison County Chamber of Commerce. "We're very interested in making sure people understand what's going on out there. The fact that the arsenal is growing is good news for us, and that it will probably continue to grow for the foreseeable future."
The advancements not only help defend our country, and advance our explorations into space, they have repercussions that can be felt right here in Huntsville.
"The fact that the Army chooses to consolidate activities here, the fact that the FBI is growing here, that NASA has an ongoing robust mission set is very exciting," Ward said.
The International Space Station has been flying for about fifteen years. Todd May, the Director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, said they will be adding a fourth astronaut to the crew, and are increasing the amount of research the station does.
"What that means for us is actually double the amount of research that the team is doing here," May said. "That's a really big growth area for the center.
May also said that the Space Launch System has moved into the build phase of the project. The SLS is the world's most powerful rocket and is critical for deep space exploration. May believes the rocket will be a game changer.
"We're really excited about it," May said. "Once we get this thing down to Kennedy Space Center, I think the world is gonna be watching. And when this thing launches for the first time the world is gonna stand still."
The FBI will also be expanding its presence at the arsenal. An interim training facility opened this summer, that trains over 740 FBI employees. Robert Hamilton, the Senior Executive for FBI Redstone Operations, said he sees Redstone Arsenal becoming a major training facility for the agency.