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FBI delivers update on agency’s expansion at Redstone

HUNTSVILLE — It should come as no surprise the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is upgrading its Redstone Arsenal facility at the speed of technology itself.

Assistant Director of the FBI’s IT Infrastructure Division, Johnnie Sharp Jr., spoke at the annual Redstone Arsenal Update on Wednesday about those future plans — to the extent they can publicly share.

“FBI Redstone is the advanced tech, analytics, and training place for the people of the FBI,” said Sharp.

“From training exercises to explosions, FBI Redstone supports the key development of FBI skill sets needed to complete our mission not in just the U.S., but around the globe, ensuring our people are ready to meet whatever real world demands they may encounter.”

“A few years ago, FBI Director Christopher Wray sent forth four strategic objectives for our growth here at FBI Redstone.”

Sharp said that the Bureau’s first goal has already largely been met.

“The first objective, building a counter IED center of excellence at FBI Redstone, has been substantially accomplished based on enhancements made to HGS, the build-out of the TDAC, and the transition of a number of weapons of mass destruction directorate, personnel, and functions to FBI Redstone from the national capital region.”

The next objective is what Sharp termed “strategic realignment.”

“We currently have over 1,900 personnel on the ground and are presently on track to have roughly 2,600 total personnel here by the end of next year,” he said. “I don’t have to tell you that the Huntsville metro area provides an amazing location to recruit the nation’s best and brightest talent. Both talent already here in the Tennessee Valley, but as well as talent who are eager to move here based on the many great offerings of the region. In return, as we relocate assets from the national capital region we hope to bring some of that great talent with us to add to the richness of this community.”

Expanding technology and analytics at Redstone is another priority for the FBI.

“Looking into the future from a tech and analytics perspective is the third objective for which I personally hold a lot of responsibility as the Assistant Director for the FBI’s IT Infrastructure Division, which is a strategic driver behind a lot of the major mission and capability enhancements the FBI is offering at Redstone. Enterprise and applied technology,” Sharp told the group of civic, business and government leaders.

“This includes all that is already here and what is being built on FBI Redstone’s North Campus from the operations building that will be referred to as OPS and the technology building one we will refer to as Tech 1 where my office is located to the Innovation Center and the upcoming tech 2 and tech 3 buildings. All of which will facilitate the development of next generation technology and analytics.”

Lastly, Sharp said that the agency will continue leaning on the base as a training hub for agents and employees nationwide.

“Rounding out the FBI’s presence at Redstone and acting as another major driver for our future mission enhancement offerings is the fourth objective. Advanced and specialized training,” he said. “Building a technically driven, advanced, and specialized training space at FBI Redstone will best position the Bureau to foster the knowledge, skills, and talent needed to overcome 21st century challenges.”

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News and 256today.

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