Considering a move to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama? Check out these five things everyone should know about the arsenal and the surrounding area.

1. It’s all about sustainment.

With U.S. Army Material Command Headquarters leading the charge, there are 22 major organizations at Redstone Arsenal who work toward the goal of sustaining the force. This is achieved through the fields of logistics management, space operations and missile defense, intelligence and homeland defense and finally, research, development, test and engineering. With such a diverse mission, it’s not only home to Army assets, but also organizations such as NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Mission and Space Intelligence Center.

2.  There are lots of civilians.

Believe it or not, Redstone Arsenal is staffed primarily by government civilians and contractors, with 19,500 and 15,000 workers respectively. Active duty service members make up a small percentage of the population with about 1,000 uniformed personnel in the area. The majority of the personnel are also highly educated with 68 percent in possession of a bachelor’s degree or higher. With so many educated people, it should come as no surprise that the jobs in the area are heavily focused on science and engineering, acquisitions and contracting, and logistics management. Professionals interested in these types of jobs should look into positions with top defense contractors like Northrop Grumman and Raytheon who are heavyweights in the area. As for the city itself, Huntsville has a 6 percent unemployment rate.

3. It’s affordable.

The cost of living in Huntsville is about 5 percent lower than the national average and the median home price is a manageable $140,300. And while there is a state income tax, Alabama exempts military retirement pay entirely. For those that don’t mind a 45-minute commute across the border to Tennessee, the town of Fayetteville is also an affordable place to live. The cost of living is about 20 percent less than the national average, the median sales price for homes is about $100,000 and there’s the added benefit of no state income tax.

4. Education Opportunities.

If you’re interested in pursuing higher education in Huntsville, look no further than the universities located in town. There’s the University of Alabama at Huntsville, which is known for its research and partnerships with local government organizations. As well as Alabama A&M University, which is considered doctoral intensive and research-oriented. There’s also a liberal arts college, Oakwood University, and a medical school, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Huntsville Regional Medical Campus, within driving distance of Redstone Arsenal.

5. Entertainment.

In Huntsville you’ll find 64 parks, 11 recreation centers, eight golf courses and 175 miles of bike trails. If you have a more cultural eye, there are five historic districts to visit in addition to a botanical garden and the Huntsville Museum of Art. On the discovery side, the city offers the Sci-Quest Hands-on Science Center and it’s possible to attend space camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. If you’re willing to take a day trip to Tennessee, there’s the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg and the George Dickel Distillery in Tullahoma. For a unique day trip in Alabama, you could head to Scottsboro where the Unclaimed Baggage Center is located. And of course, the city has its own international airport making long-distance travel a viable option.

Given the low cost of living, number of job opportunities and entertainment options in Huntsville, there’s a lot of upside to adding Redstone Arsenal to your job search.

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Jennifer Cary is a freelance writer, blogger and former government employee. You can visit her website here.