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ASCII (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Redstone Arsenal’s senior commander thanked a longstanding group of community leaders for their decades of support to the arsenal and challenged them to use their influence to continue to help the installation prosper.

During a luncheon Mar. 1 at The Summit, Lt. Gen. Donnie Walker hosted the Redstone Community Relations Committee, updating the group on current operations. It was the committee’s first meeting since the pandemic began in March 2020.

“The world has changed tremendously since then; a lot has changed here at Redstone, too,” said Walker. “Even with changes in leadership, facilities and infrastructure, Redstone Arsenal is driving forward. Influencing not only the economic well-being of the region but also its culture, its educational standards, its technology and innovation, and its quality of life.”

The Redstone Community Relations Committee formed in the late 1950s to ensure favorable conditions for the future growth of Redstone Arsenal. In its early years, the committee worked on key issues such as race relations across Huntsville. In more recent years, the committee has supported Base Realignment and Closure moves that have grown Redstone Arsenal into a diverse federal center of excellence.

“I am here today to tell you about the great and exciting things happening behind our gates that have impacts around our world and ask for your continued support,” said Walker. “With your assistance, we will move toward even more prosperity for our region.”

Walker gave the committee specific initiatives they can support to strengthen the community and Redstone Arsenal, including support to the local medical system; continued momentum in building strong school systems from Pre-K through higher education; further development of quality of life opportunities; strengthening community partnerships; and help promoting Redstone’s MWR facilities.

“We have made Redstone’s MWR facilities available through the Redstone recreational badge,” he said about the Golf Course, Bowling Center, Outdoor Recreation, bike paths and more. “These facilities are important to our Soldiers and families, and they’re available to the community, as well. Our gates are open and we welcome members of the community.”

The luncheon included updates from Bill Marks, Marshall Space Flight Center deputy director for center operations; Ambrosia Patterson, FBI Huntsville Strategy Team change and transition program manager; Richard DeFatta, Space and Missile Defense Command deputy to the commanding general; and James Thomson, Future Vertical Life Cross Functional Team deputy. All touched on current operations and future initiatives.

During her presentation on the FBI’s growth, Patterson shared a quote from FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate, “Huntsville is really the future of the FBI.”

“That is absolutely true and it is all about technology, innovation, talent and resiliency,” she said.