REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala., (June 23, 2010) -- Employees filled more than 600 seats and team members watched via video teleconference from remote sites in Virginia, Texas, and California as the new director of the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center conducted his first town hall meeting here today.

Eric F. Edwards was appointed by the Secretary of the Army to become the AMRDEC director effective May 9, 2010. Edwards comes to the position from the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command's Integrated Material Management Center, where he also served as director.

A graduate of Grissom (Ala.) High School, Edwards earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Alabama, a Masters degree in Acquisition and Contract Management from the Florida Institute of Technology, and earned an appointment to the Senior Executive Services in September 2008 put his new assignment into perspective.

"I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be here and be a part of what you all are doing to support the Soldiers. If you are an engineer why would you want to work anywhere else but in the AMRDEC'" Edwards told his town hall audience.

Edwards has held many positions on RSA, beginning as an engineering trainee the Missile Intelligence Agency as part of the University of Alabama's Co-Operative Education Program. He has worked in a range of efforts, including: radar, missile and satellite modeling and simulations.

"I've been fortunate, very blessed, to be a part of some great organizations," he said.

Since 1983, Edwards has supported the Warfighter in positions with the Joint Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Project Office, the NATO Medium Extended Air Defense Systems Management Agency, the Targets Management Office, the Utility Helicopters Project Office, the Comanche Project Management Office, the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter Program, and the Lower Tier Project Office.

As director of AMRDEC, Edwards' vision for the organization has been developed over 27 years of service and is based on the history of AMRDEC and rooted in Army Values.

"I want to make sure that we're 100 percent aligned with the needs of our customers, and that we are organized to efficiently and effectively support the Soldier," he said.