REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – Defending America from north Alabama is a lot of things. It is members of the Army Materiel Command Band at Redstone Arsenal. They are not just great musicians, some of them have earned their Air Assault badges. “I can be a musician, and I can also be a soldier just like any solider from different units, or a different MOS. Whatever task we’re given, we can accomplish it,” says Sgt. Paul Scherer.
Accomplishing a goal is a big deal. There’s no better example than the Ground Based Mid-course Interceptor, GMD, is such a point of pride. If an enemy missile is launched from another country toward the United States, GMD will be there to answer. The program’s headquarters for the prime contractor, Boeing, is in Huntsville. “We have successfully tested this thing on the ground, and in a flight environment. It works! It will defend the country,” says Boeing’s Norm Tew.
As we said, defending the country means a lot of things, like using a process called “peening” for economical, time-saving helicopter repairs. Credit Huntsville’s Avion Solutions for figuring out a way to fix damaged rotor cuffs while saving the Army millions of dollars. “It’s obviously a good news story for our company, but being able to save that kind of money for the Army, knowing that the money goes back into other things to support the war fighter…it’s just fantastic,” says Avion’s Joe Blackmon.
The war fighters understand the need to save money. Many of them were reminded of just that at Redstone Arsenal in a three-day school, called AMCOM 101. The Army Aviators got a crash course in the new policy of the Army doing its own maintenance of equipment. Money after all, is tight. “There’s always opportunity in crisis I’ve found, and even though we have declining budgets, it’ll help us form and shape and posture our army of the future,” says AMC Commander, General Dennis Via.
The Rotorcraft Center at UAH is in business to work toward the future. Teachers, on-call experts, and students work on innovation every single day. “For an engineer, that’s basically the dream job, is to make an impact,” says UAH Engineering student Jeremy Stubbs.
Impact is a good word to use to describe one team at the Army Materiel Command. Their job is stockpile gear in places like Europe so it will be waiting on soldiers when the deploy. It saves millions of dollars in shipping costs. “So right here at Redstone, we’re influencing things that are going on in Germany, nearly five thousand miles away,” says Corey Horn, a Senior Logistician.
Defending America with know how, work and innovation, that’s what happens in north Alabama every day. It doesn’t hurt that many of the efforts in 2015 were also all about saving money too.