REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (WHNT) — There are around 1,800 FBI employees currently working at the Redstone Arsenal, but Director Christopher Wray says he expects that number to grow.

During a recent hearing with U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.), the director said he anticipates around 3,000 FBI employees across the 19 different divisions on the arsenal in the near future.

“I view [Redstone Arsenal] as an innovation hub for the FBI,” explained Wray. “We’ve talked a lot already in this hearing about technology and our adversaries’ use of the technology and our need to use technology to be ahead of them, and that’s where I think the R&D (research and experimental development) efforts really is one way of short-handing it, I think would be really concentrated in Huntsville.”

Britt highlighted the importance of the FBI’s work at Redstone, which primarily focuses on the bureau’s cybersecurity, forensics, research, and training efforts, and represents a nearly $3 billion federal investment in North Alabama. 

According to the director, there is already a counter-IED Center of Excellence with TEDAC, which is where IEDs (improvised explosive devices) from all over the world are sent to do forensics on those IEDs, which then leads to lives saved on the battlefield. 

“We’re going to have a cyber-kinetic range where our cyber agents can train,” Wray added. “An innovation hub…so it’s both innovation and advanced training.”

Director Wray said the agency’s Quantico, Virginia base will continue to be used for the agency’s basic training for all new FBI agents and analysts.

“…Every time I’m struck by the buzz and the hum of the activity [at Redstone] and frankly how excited and enthusiastic all of our people and our partners are there.”