U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

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At Work in the Tennessee Valley

The Tennessee Valley winds through southern Tennessee and northeastern Alabama, a land of rural Southern charm mixed with urban sophistication. Because of the continuing growth of the local research and development industry, the Tennessee Valley remains one of the country’s fastest-growing areas, with the highest concentration of engineers in the country and one of the highest ratios of PhDs.

Here in this ever-deepening region of technological progress, you will achieve a fast-paced MDA career utilizing technology that stands at the forefront of national security. Our 240,000 square-foot facility even features the original copy of the landmark Strategic Defense Initative address presented by President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983. You can see the President’s own handwritten notes as he thought through a plan to use missiles to defend our country — the mission of the critical work we do at the MDA.

The Tennessee Valley is one of the leading regions in Research & Development (R&D), thanks to the long history of activity in the area. Huntsville/Madison County has been home to the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal since the outset of WWII, and is the site of the Missile Defense Agency’s Von Braun complex along with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Both combine to drive a strong research and development economy and create spin-off and commercial activity in related technology innovations.

Nearly every major aerospace corporation is now represented here, along with biotech and automotive industries, which keeps the region on the cutting edge of innovation. Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park is the country’s second largest research and technology park, containing 225 companies employing 23,000 people involved in technology research and development. Heralded by Forbes magazine as one of America’s Leading Cities for Business in 2011, Huntsville and the surrounding region remain one of the country’s fastest-growing areas. It has one of the highest per capita incomes in the Southeast, and its educated workforce tops the nation in number of PhDs per-capita.

The Tennessee Valley also plays a key role in the military’s technological development programs. A significant portion of the U.S. weapons procurement budget is managed by Huntsville-based operations. Likewise, more than half of our military’s foreign weapons sales are managed through Redstone Arsenal. It is one of the Army’s most strategic posts, responsible for research and development, manufacturing and worldwide support of missiles, aviation, rockets and related programs. The migration of engineers, scientists and other technical specialists has transformed the small Southern town and the neighboring area into a cosmopolitan community, which maintains its heritage and reputation for hospitality and charm.