Redstone Arsenal Base Guide
Redstone Arsenal is a U.S. Army installation located near Huntsville, Alabama. Sitting on nearly 40 thousand acres in a wetland area “serviced by the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge,” according to the DoD, the Redstone Arsenal hosts various tenant commands, the Marshall Space Flight Center, and the FBI.
Redstone Arsenal began in World War Two as an ordnance production and storage operation starting in 1941. In less than a decade, it began supporting Army missile operations, including research and development.
Redstone Arsenal was home to research efforts sometimes described as an offshoot of Operation Paperclip, the program which imported German rocket scientists to the USA to continue research and development post-war.
In 1956, Werner Von Braun would be a key figure in the installation’s evolution; Von Braun became head of the Redstone Arsenal Development Operations Division. The results of this move included the development and testing of a medium-range guided missile launched in 1957.
In 1958, the U.S. Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) began operations at Redstone Arsenal. Soon after, President Dwight D. Eisenhower would raise the idea of a civilian-run space exploration agency. Over time, this led to the federal law which created NASA.
Redstone would eventually become the home of the NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, dedicated by President Eisenhower in 1959 and playing a major role in the American space program ever since.
Today, Redstone Arsenal continues to support Army missile programs and many other missions including, but not limited to Army Materiel Command, Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command, the Tactical UAV Project Office, Redstone Test Center, and the Missile Defense Agency.
Redstone Arsenal is near Huntsville, the 4th largest city in Alabama. Huntsville sits across Madison and Limestone counties and is said to be one of the best places to live and work in national polls.
Huntsville has many outdoor attractions, especially boating, fishing, and other on-the-water fun. You should also check out Burritt on the Mountain, an open-air museum with a historic mansion, a performance area, and historic park areas.
The Alabama Constitution Village is the sort of destination featuring local tour guides wearing traditional regalia and sharing stories, trivia, and lore. You can learn a lot about local history and what it was like to live in Huntsville in early America here.
One major attraction in Huntsville? Space Camp. This is an educational summer camp in Huntsville, Alabama held in the U.S. Space & Rocket Center museum near the Marshall Space Flight Center. It was made famous in the 1980s as a film starring Kate Capshaw and Tom Skerritt.
Mission and Units
Redstone Arsenal supports tenant commands and tenant operations such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the NASA Marshall Space Center.
Important Redstone Arsenal units and missions have included but are not limited to:
- Army Materiel Command
- Army Aviation and Missile Command
- Defense Department’s Missile Defense Agency
- 902nd Military Intelligence Group
- 832d Ord BN, HQ & A Company
- 832d Ordnance Battalion
- 832d Ordnance Battalion, D Company
- Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center
- Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA)
- Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA)
- Redstone Technical Test Center
- U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC)
- U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville
- U.S. Army Expeditionary Contracting Command
- U.S. Army Medical Department Activity
- U.S. Army Medical Department Activity, Dental Command
- U.S. Army Medical Department Activity, Troop Detachment
- U.S. Army Ordnance Munitions and Electronics Maintenance School, 832d Ordnance Battalion
- U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC)
- U.S. Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command
- U.S. Marine Corps Detachment
- U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA)
- 2nd Medical Recruiting Battalion
- 308th Military Intelligence Battalion
In-Processing and Check-In
All new arrivals to Redstone Arsenal should get in processing paperwork and instructions at HHC AMCOM, Bldg 3494, Honest John Road or call 256-842-7091.
If you are single or unaccompanied, be advised that there is no on-post housing for unaccompanied service members. You will need temporary lodging arrangements with IHG Hotels, and you should plan on looking for housing off-post.
Two Child Development Centers serve Redstone Arsenal. Due to high demand, waiting lists for care are based on demand, the age of the children requiring care, and other variables.
CDC fees are based on total household income. CDC care is offered in hourly and full-day options for children ages five weeks to six years old; learn current requirements, waitlist times, and other factors by calling CYS Parent Central Services: 256-876-3704.
Some bases also offer additional child care options through the Family Child Care (FCC) program, which is offered in on-post homes which are licensed, certified, and inspected. However, at press time, there is no FCC program operating at Redstone Arsenal.
This may be subject to change based on demand and availability; contact CYS Parent Central Services to learn whether FCC options will be available when you arrive.
Housing at Redstone Arsenal is privatized and operates in a public/private partnership[with Hunt Military Communities. There are more than 350 family housing units, and waiting lists will apply due to demand.
You can join a waiting list for on-post housing once you have orders. Fax them to 256-722-8799 when you receive them. You are expected to check in with the Housing Office before entering legally binding housing contracts off-post.
There is no single/unaccompanied soldier housing on-post at press time.
Related: BAH Calculator
PCS and TDY Lodging
IHG Army Hotels and Candlewood Suites provide temporary lodging at Redstone Arsenal. Call to make reservations at 256-924-7707 or use the IHG Army Hotels website. Priority is given to those on PCS orders or TDY orders. Pet-friendly options are limited, it’s not safe to assume a pet-friendly room is available here–ask in advance when booking your stay.
All new arrivals, accompanied or unaccompanied, are directed to report to the Housing Service Office or call 256-876-6666 before entering into any legally binding agreement for housing in the local area.
The usual ride-sharing and commercial taxi and shuttle services may be available from the airport depending on the time of arrival, demand, traffic, and other variables. There are a variety of major airports you could arrive in, with Huntsville International being the closest (under 10 miles) and Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (just under 90 miles):
- Huntsville International Airport
- Northwest Alabama Regional Airport
- Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport
- Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport
Coordinate your arrival with your sponsor for best results and remember that rush hour, tourist season, and weather factors may all affect your arrival to the local area and your commute to Redstone Arsenal.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Active duty military and their family members arriving at Redstone Arsenal with valid vehicle registration from another state don’t have to register with the State of Alabama.
If you are not on active duty and relocate to Alabama, you have 30 days to register in the state after establishing residency. Depending on demand and other variables, vehicle tags and Alabama driver’s licenses may be available to obtain or renew on-post, thanks to a Madison County satellite office at the installation.
All drivers must carry state-required proof of insurance, unexpired driver’s licenses, and state-required safety equipment.
No Department of Defense schools or local schools operate on base at Redstone Arsenal. If you have school-age children and are on PCS orders to the Arsenal, contact the Redstone Arsenal School Liaison Office as soon as possible to learn about school choices and registration requirements.
The School Liaison Office offers information about local schools and even offers deployment support and provides scholarship information.
If you live on base, you may send school-age children to Williams Elementary, Williams Technology Middle School or Columbia High School in the Huntsville City School System. Be advised that K-12 students in Alabama are required by law to have a valid Social Security number and card.
The State of Alabama may require several immunizations; discuss these with your local care provider if your children need boosters or other immunizations before you PCS if you can. According to DoD literature, you also have the option to get help when you in-process to the Arsenal. “Military families may obtain a copy of the Alabama immunization card at Fox Army Health Clinic” upon arrival.
Colleges and Universities
Redstone Arsenal is served by the Toftoy Education Center, serving military and family members. The Center can help you find tuition assistance and develop an academic plan to help you achieve your educational goals. Call 256-842-9703 for more information. Local colleges and higher education opportunities include, but are not limited to:
- Auburn University Montgomery
- Athens State University
- Calhoun College
- Columbia College
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Florida Institute of Technology
Those are the schools the DoD lists as having “on-site” courses offered at Redstone Arsenal. Other local opportunities off-post include:
- Alabama A&M University
- Faulkner University
- Drake State Tech College
- NW Shoals State Community College
- University of Alabama-Huntsville
- Virginia College
Related: Ultimate GI Bill Benefits Guide
Contacts at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama
Redstone Arsenal, AL 35898
- DSN 312-746-5397
Redstone Arsenal Contact Phone Numbers
- Army Substance Abuse Program 256-876-7256
- American Red Cross 877-272-7337
- Army Community Service Programs 256-876-5397
- Candlewood Suites/ IHG Army Hotels 256-924-7707
- Child Development Centers Goss Road – 256-876-7952, Mills Road – 256-842-5631
- Exceptional Family Member Program 256-876-5397
- Education Center/University Center 256-876-9761
- Equal Employment Opportunity (256)876-8890
- Fox Army Health Center 256-955-8888
- Family Advocacy Program 256-876-5397
- Housing Service Office 256-876-6666
- Health Benefits Advisor/ TRICARE 800-444-5445
- ID Cards 256-842-2413
- NASA/ MSFC Medical Center 256-544-2390
- NAF Employment Office 256-876-2496
- Parent Central Services 256-876-3704
- Relocation Assistance 256-876-5397
- Redstone Family Housing 256-400-5940
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255
- School Liaison Office 256-842-9642
- School Age Center 256-876-6595
- Sexual Assault Hotline 256-924-0795
- Security Office (256)876-1345
- Transition Assistance Program 256-313-6481
- Temporary Lodging 256-924-7707
- Unaccompanied Housing 256-876-6666
About the author
Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.