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Since our beginnings as the Research and Development Directorate in 1962, we have been on the forefront of solving Army challenges and conducting leading edge research, development and life cycle engineering, while promoting discovery and innovation across government, academia and industry.
From the rockets that gave birth to America's space program to the cutting-edge use of UAVs in the Global War on Terror, we lead the way in the development of new technologies that continue to defend America and our troops. As a result of Base Realignment and Closure, the missile and aviation research, development, and engineering centers were combined in 1997. This presented unique organizational challenges, but also created opportunities to share technologies across the two mission areas. Today, AvMC directorates all provide support to both.
AvMC traces its origins back to October 1948 when the chief of ordnance designated Redstone Arsenal as the center for research and development in the field of rockets. A year later, the secretary of the Army approved the transfer of the Ordnance Research and Development Division sub-office (Rocket) at Fort Bliss, Texas, to Redstone Arsenal. Among those transferred were Dr. Wernher von Braun and his team of German scientists and technicians who had come to the United States after World War II. The Von Braun team is most noted for its pioneering efforts in helping the Army at Redstone lay the foundation for U.S. space exploration.
With the transfer of the Von Braun team to NASA in 1960, research and development activities by the Army at Redstone turned to integrating space-age technology into weapons for the Soldier in the field.
Since 1976, we have received 29 awards for excellence from the Department of the Army, including being named the Army's Research and Development Laboratory of the Year an unprecedented 9 times (fiscal years 2007, 2005, 2003, 2000, 1994, 1993, 1989, 1985, 1981). The annual award program evaluates Army laboratories on their accomplishments in research, development, management, and on contributions to the Global War on Terrorism. AvMC is evaluated among the Army's "large development labs."