For years, Redstone Arsenal has served as an economic engine not just for its hometown of Huntsville but for the surrounding cities and counties as well. The Arsenal, which already manages $50 billion in federal funds and employs around 43,000 people among its various agencies, gave its annual update Thursday on its growth and plans for expansion.
The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce put on the sold-out event where industry leaders with NASA, the U.S. Army, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies spoke about Redstone's continuing impact on the area.
"Team Redstone is a part of this community, our people live in your communities, and they thrive in these communities," said Lieutenant General Robert Rasch Jr., director of hypersonics, directed energy, space and rapid acquisition, according to WHNT. "We're proud to call this home."
Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI Wendell "Drew" Watts spoke about the Bureau's new South Campus located on a 900-acre plot near the hazard device school and the addition of 3,000 employees.
"The vision of the South Campus is to provide comprehensive, state-of-the-art training for FBI agents and technicians," he said.
Watts played a short video showing how the FBI has expanded at Redstone since 2015.
"This will be a robust campus, enabling the FBI to address the rapidly changing threat environment," Watts said, according to AL.com. "And it's going to be a robust campus. But can I tell you the north campus is already booming. We are building a technology district which will really be the epicenter of the FBI's technology infrastructure and tool development, centralizing our tech talent and tools to a connected campus environment."
National defense was another big topic at the event, particularly regarding giving aid to Ukraine in the ongoing conflict with Russia. Dr. Myra Gray, Deputy to the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, said any aid given has also been in the best interests of America's national security.
"We don't give them something they don't want, and we certainly don't give them something that is not in our interests as well," Gray said during the update. "... [I]t shows that we can use this capability to promote national security for ourselves and for our partners and allies."
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