From left, Rep. Parker Griffith talks with the Army’s Maj. Gen. Jim Myles, James Johnson and Col. Steven Kihara about the footprint the Redstone Test Center will have at Redstone Arsenal once the construction of RTC’s Rotary Wing Center Hangar Facility and RTC’s headquarters are completed. The two projects total $46.5 million, making it the last of the large-scale, BRAC-related construction projects to be built on the Arsenal.

It's official - ground has been broken for the last of the large-scale, BRAC-related construction projects coming to Redstone Arsenal.

Arsenal and community officials gathered Friday under a tent adjacent to the Redstone Flying Activity at the airfield to break ground for a $46.5 million building project that includes the Rotary Wing Center Hangar Facility and the Redstone Test Center's new headquarters buildings. The hangar facility will be located at the airfield while the RTC headquarters will be in front of building 4500 on Martin Road.

The groundbreaking, combined with Thursday's merger of the Redstone Technical Test Center and the Aviation Technical Test Center, "is truly a milestone event in the life of Redstone Arsenal, the Army and the state of Alabama," said Col. Steven Kihara, the new commander of RTC. "The official merger completely changes the face of aviation and missile testing and evaluation. The critical expertise to test and qualify now resides co-located with customers."

The new facilities will augment the efforts to make Redstone Arsenal the Army's Aviation Technology Center of Excellence.

"We are doing things to take it to the next level," said Maj. Gen. Jim Myles, commander of the Aviation and Missile Command. "This will allow us to enhance our Aviation Technology Center of Excellence. This will be a key enabler."

Myles thanked the Alabama congressional delegation, represented at the groundbreaking by Rep. Parker Griffith, for their support of the changes coming to Redstone Arsenal.

"You are helping to make the dream become a reality by making our Army the best Army that's ever existed on the face of the earth," he said.
Garrison commander Col. Bob Pastorelli said the new RTC facilities symbolize longevity and "also marks our final large BRAC-directed project."

"Getting this project under contract is a major step for the Garrison, the whole installation and the Army. The Garrison's commitment is that every building project remain on time and at or below cost. I look forward to these buildings being completed in late 2010 or early 2011," Pastorelli said.

Participating in the groundbreaking with Myles, Pastorelli, Kihara and Griffith were Developmental Test Command director James Johnson; Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle; Madison Mayor Paul Finley; Claudinette Purifoy, senior project engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers; and David Hare, vice president of U.S. operations for B.L. Harbert Construction.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16