HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command Deputy to the Commanding General, Bill Marriott, led a panel of senior leaders from Redstone Arsenal during the annual Chamber of Commerce Redstone Update, held Dec. 4 at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville.The panel members represented commands and activities that collectively represent Redstone Arsenal's four core competencies: Logistics support; space operations and missile defense; research, development, test and Engineering; and intelligence and homeland defense.Marriott explained to the audience of mostly Huntsville businessmen and women what AMCOM's mission is and how the command supports the Army's Soldiers by providing readiness."We enable our military - specifically our Army, in our case - to have the most ready aviation and missile systems for our Soldiers. We do that through cooperation with the agencies here in Huntsville, many that you have seen here today. We are partnered very closely with the Program Executive Offices for Aviation and Missiles and Space. We provide logisticians. We work hand-in-hand with them on acquisition logistics, sustainment logistics and field maintenance across our Army."Marriott gave the audience a brief overview of AMCOM's personnel and economic impact. AMCOM employs more than 12,000 people, including approximately 4,000 contractors and a small number of military personnel. More than 5,000 of those AMCOM employees work on Redstone Arsenal and live in the Huntsville community, making up about one-eighth of the total Redstone Arsenal workforce."Those employees have an incredible impact on our nation and our Army's readiness," Marriott said.Furthermore, he explained that AMCOM executes a $4 billion budget annually."About $2.2 billion of our budget is spent on hardware that we buy through the Army Working Capital Fund," he said. "Another $1 billion of that is in operations and maintenance accounts for the Army. Marriott also reached out to the small-business owners who attended the update."Our Small Business Office did about $1.9 million worth of work last year across Redstone Arsenal. About 14 percent of the money that was spent across Redstone Arsenal goes to small businesses. There are some tremendous opportunities here."Marriott finished with a reminder that AMCOM's main customer are the Soldiers and what AMCOM provides them is readiness."Readiness could be getting a helicopter engine where it needs to be. It could be a helicopter that is recapped at Corpus Christi Army Depot [in Texas] or a Patriot launcher that was just repaired at one of our commands," he said. "And, you'll be happy to know that the Aviation and Missile readiness rates for the Army, are the highest they have ever been, thanks to our current and previous commanders' efforts. Marriott was joined on the panel by Dr. Charles Basham, Chief of Staff, PEO Missiles and Space; Dr. Juanita Christensen, Executive Director, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation and Missile Center; Maj. Gen. Doug Gabram, Director of Test, Missile Defense Agency; and Special Agent Brice McCracken, Division Chief, National Center for Explosives and Research, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.