HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Redstone Arsenal's global missions rely on having the best and brightest workforce and that would not be possible without the support of local universities.

That was the message the Redstone Arsenal senior commander shared at the University of Alabama's Board of Trustees Institutional Meeting, April 12.

Lt. Gen. Ed Daly, Redstone Arsenal senior commander and Army Materiel Command deputy to the commanding general, thanked Robert Altenkirch, outgoing University of Alabama in Huntsville president, for his years of support to the Arsenal, community and state of Alabama.

"You have played an integral role in the economic development and growth of this university, region and state," Daly said. "You have been a crucial partner in linking academia to government and industry, and an advocate for Team Redstone and our workforce."

That link between Redstone and academia is vital to the success of the installation. Workforce development is the top line of effort in the Garrison's Strategic Plan, which also includes mission support, infrastructure and communication.

"Education transcends not only the classroom, it transcends barriers and boundaries. We need the best you have," Daly said. "We need professionals who want to continue to learn and grow, who can analyze and solve difficult problems, and who care about making a difference in the world."

The Board of Trustees includes 16 statewide board members, seven board staff members, deans, professors, faculty and staff from UA in Tuscaloosa, UAH and UAB. The three universities combined have more than 70,000 enrolled students.

"As the board of the largest university system in our state, I hope that you will help to inform your students about the opportunities available to them on Redstone," Daly said about how the installation is home to the Army and more than 80 federal organizations including, the Department of Defense, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, the FBI and ATF.

"While a picture of a Soldier may come to mind when you think about the Army and Redstone Arsenal, our missions could not be accomplished without our strong civilian workforce," Daly said.

Redstone's nearly 40,000 workforce specializes in everything from deep space exploration through the Space Launch System to the teaching and training on the removal of improvised explosive devices. Through both expected growth and natural attrition the installation needs to ensure the next generation is ready to take over those missions, Daly said.

"Redstone Arsenal is having a significant worldwide impact on our nation's security and defense, and your students can be part of that impact," he said.

Following Daly's presentation was Marshall's Director Jody Singer who spoke with the board about the important partnerships NASA shares with the UA system.