Sen. Richard Shelby- Republican says that the Federal Bureau of Investigation‘s (FBI) investment in northern Alabama could reach $1 billion, the Associated Press reports. This would come from expected FBI construction at the Redstone Arsenal site near Huntsville in the years to come. In fact, Shelby says, he believes Alabama could be second only to Washington, DC for the FBI.
In a speech to business leaders at a Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce breakfast, he said “Huntsville is on fire,” AL.com reports. “You know that. The whole area is on fire economically. You’re attracting everything here. You’ve got the brainpower here.” He continued “Overall, the FBI, the plans we hope to deliver will be probably $1 billion of investment at Redstone because that’s going for the security of the American people. We’ve got to have it.”
In 2017, Huntsville mayor Tommy Battle said that he was “cautiously optimistic” that the FBI could bring up to 4,000 jobs to Redstone Arsenal. “The report coming out of Redstone Update was that there could be a capacity of up to 4,400 jobs and it’s over the next eight to 10 years,” Battle said in an interview with AL.com. “It’s a slow but steady buildup of FBI presence here in Huntsville. It’s great news for the arsenal, great news for the city. It just diversifies our portfolio we already have at Redstone Arsenal.
“We’re almost a federal campus more than we’re an arsenal. We have NASA, we have Army Materiel Command, we have Army Aviation. We do 85 percent of America’s missile defense agency work. Add to that the FBI presence. It gives us a continuum of service out at Redstone Arsenal and gives us a very broad, diversified group that we pull our federal tax dollars from.”
In November of last year, FBI director Robert Hamilton announced that 1,340 contractors and personnel would be moved to Alabama from the Washington, DC. area. These would be added to the 300 already working at the two campuses on site at Redstone Arsenal.
“The FBI is extremely excited to announce today that we are moving forward with our first large-scale operations support building,” Hamilton said during a presentation to business and community leaders at the annual Redstone Update. “We expect that to be ready for occupancy in early 2021. This will move approximately 1,350 personnel and contractors from the national capital region.
“This building will accommodate a cross-section of FBI employees to include special agents, intelligence analysts and professional staff. And we will house a number of operations support divisions that play a critical role in supporting the FBI mission of protecting the American people.”