REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (WHNT) — Redstone Arsenal is a huge economic driver for Madison County and the surrounding areas — and Thursday, local industries got a full report on the work done by than 43,000 people working on base.
Leaders from eight different agencies delivered reports Thursday with topics across the spectrum — everything from rockets and missiles to FBI training and Redstone’s support to Ukraine.
The annual “Redstone Update” is presented by the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce.
“Team Redstone is a part of this community, our people live in your communities, and they thrive in these communities,” said LTG Robert Rasch Jr., director of hypersonics, directed energy, space and rapid acquisition. “We’re proud to call this home.”
One of the main themes from each agency was expansion.
From NASA, to the FBI, to the Army, growth is coming both in the form of new buildings and the addition of employees. The FBI is seeing one of the biggest expansions with a new operations building opening earlier this year — and it’s just one of many.
“Our Redstone expansion also includes building out our more than 900 acre South Campus near the hazard device school, where advanced and specialized training is the common theme,” explained Wendell “Drew” Watts, the base’s deputy assistant director. “The vision of the South Campus is to provide comprehensive, state-of-the-art training for FBI agents and technicians.”
The FBI is also in the process of relocating thousands of employees to Redstone.
“I’m going to D.C. the week of January 23 to issue the Wave Three letters for the innovation center,” Watts continued.
Of course, defense was another topic on the agenda. Renee Mosher, the director of operations and readiness for the Army Material Command, led part of the panel discussion on the nation’s aid to Ukraine.
“$6.8 million to date in presidential directives alone, that gives you the magnitude and the scope of the support that we are managing,” Mosher said.
Space and Missile Defense gave an update on its efforts as well. However, they said one question remains unanswered — even to them.
“I can’t answer anything about Space Command coming to Huntsville,” said Richard De Fatta, Space and Missile Command Deputy to the Commander. “I don’t know anything more than you do. If you have that question, please pass that on to the Secretary of the Air Force.”
With the number of jobs being added and relocated to Redstone, several officials joked about the potential for added traffic in the region. All agreed it is because of good things to come.