HUNTSVILLE, AL | March 11, 2022 – The FBI’s continuing growth in Huntsville has now topped more than $2.48 billion, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby said Thursday. In an announcement from the retiring senator, Shelby lauded the growth at Redstone Arsenal after Congress approved spending bills for the 2022 fiscal year that included $570 million for FBI construction at Redstone Arsenal.
The package of spending bills has been sent to President Joe Biden for his signature. Shelby is vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which guides spending plans.
With Shelby’s announcement of additional funding for the FBI and the totality of investment for the bureau at Redstone eclipsing $2.48 billion, it’s a project that now exceeds the $2.3 billion invested in Mazda Toyota Manufacturing in Huntsville.
“Growing the FBI’s presence in Huntsville has been a priority of mine for quite some time, and I am proud to have helped bring it to fruition,” Shelby said in the announcement. “This new construction will further solidify Redstone Arsenal’s position as one of the biggest and most powerful bases throughout the country and will build on the extraordinary workforce and sophisticated mission. Huntsville’s growing defense industry has been extremely beneficial for the nation, and this FBI funding seeks to build upon that momentum.”
At the annual Redstone Update in December, an FBI official perhaps gave the most succinct summation of all.
“The investment that has been placed in us in the FBI in Redstone here is the largest single investment in the FBI in our history,” said Nicolas Dimos, acting assistant director/CFO, FBI finance and facilities division.
At his presentation, Dimos said the FBI projects to have 5,200 employees at Redstone Arsenal by 2028 with capacity for another 2,500 people annually for training. As of December 2021, Dimos said the FBI had about 1,218 employees in Huntsville. The FBI also plans to open five new facilities on the Army base by October.
Dimos also outlined four “strategic initiatives” from Director Christopher Wray for the FBI at Redstone:
- Counter IED Center of Excellence, which is a large part of TEDAC’s mission.
- Strategic realignment of FBI national assets and capabilities to enhance mission resiliency and continuity of operations
- Enterprise and applied technology, including next-generation technology, analytics and capability to address emerging threats
- Advanced and specialized training
Wray visited the FBI campus on Redstone Arsenal last year for the groundbreaking of the $200 million Innovation Center.
The FBI also has plans, Dimos said, for major expansion on what it terms its south campus on the arsenal near its Hazardous Devices School. The south campus covers about 900 acres. Plans call for the south campus to be the site “where we have a lot of our hands-on advanced and specialized training, particularly for our law enforcement officers and electronic technicians.”
The south campus will build upon the FBI’s training headquarters at Quantico, Va., and create a “real-world” training environment in a controlled setting. A master plan has been completed and groundbreaking is expected later this year. The south campus is expected to be operational by 2025.
Former FBI Director James Comey foreshadowed the bureau’s growth in Huntsville during a visit to Redstone Arsenal in 2016 for the ribbon cutting of the FBI’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC).
“What we see here is an opportunity to have a center of gravity for the FBI,” Comey said. The former director also said he had talked with Shelby about relocating some of the FBI missions to Redstone Arsenal.
“We’re going to work toward that end,” Shelby said that day in 2016 with Comey standing by his side. “That’s our vision down the road.”
Rendering of the FBI Innovation Center, which held a groundbreaking June 29, 2021, at Redstone Arsenal as part of the bureau’s under-construction campus in Huntsville.
Construction on the FBI’s north campus on Redstone Arsenal is shown in this December 2021 image.
This article was written by Paul Gattis for www.al.com. To view the original article, please visit: