Retired U.S. General: Redstone Arsenal key to any overseas operation

General Jim Pillsbury was the Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Material Command at the Redstone Arsenal. He retired in 2011.

Posted: Jan 9, 2020 6:27 PM
Updated: Jan 10, 2020 8:10 AM

A retired Redstone Arsenal top military official says the Arsenal is key to any operation overseas, including the current crisis between the U.S. and Iran.

General Jim Pillsbury is a 3-star Army General and spoke with WAAY 31 on Thursday.

"Folks of Redstone are key to any operation that goes on any place in the world much less the Middle East," says General Pillsbury.

General Pillsbury was a key player for the U.S. Military when he retired in 2011 after his time on the Redstone Arsenal. He was the Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Material Command and explained Huntsville’s importance.

"The brainpower inside the fence here at Redstone is unmatched to any place I've ever been so I would put them at the top of the list of folks that are gonna come up with the right technologies, at the right time, with the right techniques, and tactics to make whatever system that's put in the hands of the soldiers effective and efficient," he explains.

With 38 years of experience in Army Material Command and the Missile Defense Command, General Pillsbury explained how the Arsenal may be involved in researching the missiles shot at American troops by Iran.

"AMC [Army Material Command] is strategic, space and missile defense command.... you can imagine what they're doing right now. Missile Defense Agency certainly with a ballistic missile that were fired from Iran into Iraq. The forensics are being done on those," he says.

Pillsbury explains what's on the Arsenal that makes it so important.

"The numerous headquarters and agencies inside the fence here upwards of 65-70 different agencies all have hands on certain issues as it relates to supporting the war fare both on ground and in the air," says General Pillsbury.

The question that may be on everyone's mind is with this responsibility on the Redstone Arsenal, can we be a target?

General Pillsbury on Thursday told WAAY 31 all headquarters and agencies need to be secured and watchful of what's going on and that any base could be a potential target to the bad guys.

He also explained his own experience in the Middle East and his thoughts on the conflict.

"You got to be aware of your environment at all times. Look, see, report. If there's something wrong, something you don't feel comfortable with, report it," say General Pillsbury.

Pillsbury shared what people on the Redstone Arsenal and what American troops across the world are hearing. He explained different potentials in the current crisis with Iran.

"I would hope that it wouldn't happen. It did. The missiles that were launched were ballistic missiles and were they aimed properly? Was it on purpose that no Americans were hurt? The one thing that regimes in the middle east, save Israel, want to do is stay in power," explains Pillsbury.

Pillsbury told us he agrees with the deescalation President Trump spoke about Wednesday morning after Iran fired missiles at a base in Iraq where Americans are stationed.

"You never want to escalate if you don't have to. You want to deter. And that's what our military is all about...Being strong, ready and right now, to deter somebody from wanting to be offensive...And I think the President used a measured response," he says.

Pillsbury describes his thought's on President Trump's decision on killing Qasem Soleimani.

"At the end of the day was he in the right to go out and take out that bad guy? Yes he was....that general in Iraq was orchestrating the demonstration against our embassy which could have turned violent, which could've but it didn't," he says.

"They can't take us on a 1 on 1 in a war. I mean it would be again their mission leadership, mission is to stay in power," General Pillsbury says.

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