International Eyes Turn To Redstone

HUNTSVILLE, AL  |  June 26, 2024 – Redstone Arsenal and its relationship with surrounding communities has drawn international curiosity.

South Korea’s largest news organization, the Korean Broadcasting System, visited the community in late May to convey to a South Korean audience how a military installation and its surrounding cities can grow in a complimentary manner.

“That has not been the case in South Korea,” said Soobong Seong, who coordinated and translated for the two-man Korean news team.

Seong said the documentary-style report showcased the Huntsville-Redstone success story, then showed the stark contrast with South Korean military bases and their surrounding communities.

The news team interviewed Senior Commander Lt. Gen. Chris Mohan, Deputy to the Garrison Commander Martin Traylor, along with a few engineers who work on the Arsenal and live in Huntsville.

In a separate visit, a group of Japanese visitors with the International Visitor Leadership Program came to the area to better understand communities that host military installations and how they work together.

Redstone Community Planners Kaela Hamby and Jay Howell briefed the Japanese group and provided an installation tour.

“The Japanese visitors’ biggest impression was that Redstone can’t really be its own advocate and doesn’t have direct control over its growth and federal actions,” said Howell. “Instead, we position ourselves to make the Arsenal a viable candidate when it comes to shifting the location of organizations or gaining new ones.”

“It was coincidental these visits happened within a couple weeks of each other,” said Redstone Arsenal Garrison Commander Col. Brian Cozine. “But it certainly demonstrates the community relationships we sometimes take for granted are the very foundation of our success.”

Cozine said Redstone Arsenal is here today because of community support. In the 1940s, Huntsville leaders Lawrence Goldsmith Sr., a prominent landowner, and George Mahoney, a men’s clothing retailer, worked with then U.S. Rep. John J. Sparkman and Sen. Lister Hill to convince the Army to choose Huntsville as the location for a new chemical warfare plant.

“We’ve enjoyed the support of the local community for more than 75 years. Our surrounding communities continue to demonstrate that support, from working collaboratively with us on road and infrastructure projects, to celebrating with us at Redstone-hosted events like the Army Birthday and annual Oktoberfest,” Cozine said.

The KBS news team was particularly interested in visiting the area because of the repeated national accolades that tout Huntsville as one of the country’s best places to live, its continued growth and attractive and abundant technical job opportunities.

KBS interviewed city and U.S. Army Garrison officials about the growth of Redstone Arsenal and how that growth has also impacted the growth of Huntsville’s population and economy. The journalists were impressed to learn Redstone Arsenal contributes over $36 billion to the Tennessee Valley’s Gross Regional Product annually.

Both visiting groups were intrigued by Redstone’s Enhanced Use Lease, or the Redstone Gateway, that provides corporate office space, restaurants and child and medical care just outside of Redstone’s Gate 9. The land was previously an agricultural lease that generated about $17 thousand per year. Now the Army reaps about $750 thousand per year.

Besides visiting Redstone Arsenal, the teams visited other locations and spoke with leaders and residents in the area.

Using the footage and interviews gathered in downtown Huntsville, the Space and Rocket Center and on Redstone Arsenal, KBS produced a documentary to demonstrate military and community cooperation best practices to the South Korean audience.

Along with the Redstone officials, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Huntsville Chamber of Commerce’s Chip Cherry and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s Edward Stewart were featured in the documentary.



This article was written for by Lisa Simunaci and Demarrio Spence. To view the original article, please visit: