Secretary of U.S. Army visits Redstone Arsenal

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REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - Secretary of the United States Army Mark T. Esper visited Redstone Arsenal this week. As secretary, he's responsible for all matters relating to the United States Army, including the recruitment, organization, training, equipping, and care of 1.4 million active duty, National Guard, Reserve soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, and their families.

The secretary spent time with General Gustave F. Perna, commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, two Cross-Functional Team leaders who he says are vital to the modernization of the force, and Northrop Grumman, which is developing systems essential to the future of air missile defense.

Secretary Esper has six modernization priorities, one is Future Vertical Lift and the program headquarters at Redstone Arsenal.

"Future Vertical Lift, with whom I met today, and had a good discussion with their leader General Rugen about what we're doing with regard to that CFT and programs, which isĀ important to our efforts on the battlefield," said Secretary Esper.

Future Vertical Lift is a new technology to modernize Army aviation and help in combat.

Colonel Richard Spiegel says it means a lot to have Secretary Esper visit Redstone. "It is always really cool when the senior leaders come and take interest in your work and get updates," he said. "It's very motivating."

Esper says it's important to keep up the work and continue meeting deadlines to modernize the Army.

"What's next is keeping our shoulder to the grindstone and making progress on all the programs," he added. "There are 31 programs associated with the 8 CFTs. Those 31 programs are critical to the future success of the army on a modern battlefield. We really need to make sure that we hit our timelines and that we and the companies with whom we are working with and contracting meet their cost, schedule and performance milestones."

We did ask Secretary Esper questions about the government shutdown while he was visiting but he declined to comment because the shutdown is currently not affecting the Army.

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