North Alabama benefits from Department of Defense spending

Redstone Arsenal

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – North Alabama was home to the largest amount of Department of Defense spending in the state for fiscal year 2019.

North Alabama, home to the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal, has three counties in the region among the top 10 when compared to Alabama’s 67 counties.

“It comes as no surprise Redstone Arsenal is the economic engine that drives not only Madison County’s economy but the economy for the entire north Alabama region,” said Madison County Commission Chairman Dale W. Strong. “The continued growth and development of Redstone and the many agencies on this federal campus, as well as the corporations that support these agencies, is paramount to the success of our regional economy.”

“Redstone’s role in global affairs is also a crucial element of protecting America’s vitality and fortunes,” said Strong. “The specific missions that exist at Redstone assures that our nation keeps America prepared against our enemies both domestic and abroad. You can’t put a price on defending our freedom and security.”

The top 10 Alabama counties in defense contract spending for 2019 compared to 2018 figures were:

  • Madison – $9.2 billion, up $400 million
  • Mobile – $1.5 billion, up $100 million
  • Dale – $857.2 million, up $61.8 million
  • Montgomery – $269.7 million, up $8.11 million
  • Calhoun – $269 million, up $98.5 million
  • Limestone – $94.2 million, up $18.33 million
  • Talladega – $87.3 million, up $8.6 million
  • Jefferson – $71.3 million, down $6 million
  • Marshall – – $48.4 million (not ranked top 10 in 2018)
  • Dallas – $41 million (not ranked top 10 in 2018)

Counties in bold are those in the north Alabama region.

Madison County not only leads the state with $9.2 billion in defense contract spending during 2019 the county also has one of the highest totals in DoD spending in the United States, ranking at seventh.

Top 10 DoD Contracts in the United States

  1. Tarrant, Texas with $17.6 billion
  2. Fairfax, Virginia with $17.4 billion
  3. San Diego with $14 billion
  4. Los Angeles with $13.1 billion
  5. St. Louis $10.5 billion
  6. Dallas had $9.3 billion
  7. Huntsville, Alabama with $9.2 billion
  8. Hartford, Connecticut with $8.5 billion
  9. King County, Washington with $8.3 billion
  10. Jefferson County, Kentucky with $7.5 billion

The makeup of personnel at Redstone Arsenal in Madison County shows 727 active-duty military employees, 461 in the National Guard and 776 in the Reserves. The Arsenal also has 13,767 Army civilian workers, for a total of 15,731 Department of Defense workers.

The DoD report did not track where those workers live, but Madison County officials said commuting patterns show they drive to Redstone Arsenal from all over North Alabama and southern Tennessee.

Census data from 2015 showed Limestone, Morgan and Marshall counties in Alabama and Lincoln County in Tennessee all had thousands of people driving to Madison County for work. Officials said anecdotal evidence indicates that numbers has increased by thousands of more workers since then.

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