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Teams at Marshall Space Flight Center lead some of the nation’s most exciting space endeavors, thanks to their unique expertise in large-scale, complex space systems development and propulsion. Over its more than 50 years of scientific and technological excellence, Marshall has developed a broad portfolio of abilities:

  • It performs basic research and develops, tests and sustains propulsion systems for all phases of space transportation, including boost, upper stage and in-space applications.
  • Teams at Marshall develop, test and evaluate materials, processes, designs and systems as well as full-up vehicles such as the nation’s new heavy-lift, human-rated Space Launch System for exploration beyond Earth’s orbit.
  • It supports NASA in developing large space structures and their supporting space systems, including modules for the International Space Station and now manages all the science work of the astronauts aboard the ISS from a 24/7 Payload Operations Integration Center. Marshall also develops and manages small satellite projects and scientific payloads on a number of different spacecraft.
  • Marshall develops, tests and manages scientific instruments, experiments and spacecraft that gather vital information about Earth and space.


The National Center for Explosives Training & Research is composed of the National Canine Training and Operations Center in Front Royal, Virginia, and the Explosives Enforcement and Training Division and the Explosives Research and Development Division. Both of the latter are at Redstone Arsenal.

The center manages all federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives canine training initiatives and operational responses, ATF’s certified explosives specialist program, Explosives Technology Branch operations and explosives enforcement officer operational responses. It also provides basic and advanced explosives training and research to safeguard the public and reduce deaths and injuries from explosives crimes and accidents, and buttresses ATF’s core mission of investigating the criminal misuse of explosives and regulation of the industry, aligning this support with the U.S. counter-IED effort.

NCETR is a multiagency, multiuse facility: ATF conducts training on Redstone Arsenal for military explosives ordnance disposal technicians, the U.S. Department of State, ATF personnel, state and local bomb technicians and other federal and international law enforcement agencies.

The center also has three major laboratories: the explosives research lab, the electronics lab and the forensic instrument lab, with staff that include a full-time research scientist and ATF forensic chemists.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation continued to grow at Redstone Arsenal during 2018 as part of its strategy to enhance operations while simultaneously creating numerous synergies across FBI programs.

The Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) was formally established in 2003 within the FBI’s Laboratory Division as the single source for strategic level improvised explosive device (IED) exploitation. Previously located in Quantico, Virginia, TEDAC relocated to Redstone Arsenal in 2015. TEDAC has developed extensive partnerships throughout the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the international community.

TEDAC is a forward-leaning center utilizing a whole-of-government approach. TEDAC’s interagency and collaborative mission as a strategic exploitation center coordinates law enforcement, the intelligence community, the military, and other government agencies such as ATF and DHS to gather and share information with the primary goal of preventing a terrorist attack. The center has collected and maintains in excess of 1 million IEDs and related materials from around the globe.

TEDAC’s focus remains steadfast in protecting the United States as well as our international partners against terrorist attacks. Its collaborative efforts include:

  • Scientific and technical exploitation and examination of IEDs utilizing forensic techniques.
  • Production of intelligence products shared with its partners specific to IED attributes, terrorist tactics, techniques and procedures.
  • Timely responses to partners’ priority requests for intelligence, device exploitation, data and analysis.
  • Forecasts of IED-related threats worldwide based on scientific and technical analysis of the devices.
  • A centralized repository for IED-related material collected through strategic liaisons and partnering.

The FBI’s Hazardous Devices School (HDS) is a part of the FBI’s Counter IED Section within the Critical Incident Response Group based in Quantico, Virginia. HDS was established in 1971 as a joint operation between the FBI and the United States Army and is the nation’s only civilian bomb disposal training facility that certifies all United States public safety bomb technicians in countering IED threats. HDS also works closely with the Counter IED Section’s Research and Development team.

In 2016, the FBI assumed full responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the school as well as the development of all curriculum. By leveraging its partnerships with TEDAC and outside agencies, HDS uses intelligence gathered from past, present and emerging threats to drive course curriculum; creating a training environment where technicians are faced with real-world scenarios and are challenged to create real-world solutions.

HDS offers a variety of training courses to include the initial six-week certification course, a one-week recertification course and multiple advanced training courses. All courses include classroom and hands-on training. By serving as the singular certifying entity, HDS ensures that bomb technicians from multiple federal, state and local bomb squads can come together and seamlessly integrate with each other to address all hazardous situations.

In 2018, the school’s 455-acre facility received additional training facilities as well as range upgrades. These facilities provide a variety of venues to create the most realistic training environments possible inclusive of room for advances in technology such as robot operations, specialty threats and advanced IED responses. By providing these types of environments, it affords all technicians the opportunity to receive world-class training to address the ever-changing explosive threat.

Other entities located on the Arsenal which support the overall FBI mission include the interim Tennessee Valley Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (TNRCFL) and the National Defense Cyber Alliance (NDCA). The TVRCFL is one of 17 laboratories in the country serving as a full-service, digital forensics laboratory and training center dedicated entirely to the examination of digital evidence. The NDCA will improve national security by protecting our sensitive networks through collaborative strategies and information sharing between the cleared defense contractor community and the U.S. government.

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