RTC explosions keeping our soldiers safe - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

RTC explosions keeping our soldiers safe

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

At most workplaces, a fire or explosion is worst case scenario, but those fiery booms at Redstone Arsenal are key to keeping our military safe.

Many here in the Tennessee Valley have heard loud explosions, felt the earth shake or seen a large plume of smoke rise out of Redstone Arsenal.

Redstone Test Center, or RTC, takes credit for most of those occurrences.

“Explosions come in various flavors, usually intentional or unintentional. Everything we test here at RTC has a purpose,” explained Ryan Saffell, a RTC test engineer.

If it’s in the army’s inventory, RTC tests it.

They check a missile’s function, life cycle, if it explodes in a fire, and how fast.

They want to ensure the people firing the weapons are doing it with as little risk as possible.

“To make sure if a motor, missile or warhead is in a big fire, that it doesn’t go too soon, that people have time to escape that area before it goes off,” said Saffell.

“It’s very necessary it’s important to try to make the weapons as safe as possible so it doesn’t hurt own soldiers,” said Jerry Webb, another test engineer.

RTC covers more than 1.4 million square feet of facilities and over 13,000 acres of range space. It sees action all the time.

“We test every day up here multiple times a week,” explained Saffell.

RTC tests missile aviation sensor components, full up systems, rocket motors, warheads, engines off helicopters.

They also have component testing, missile testing, aviation testing and more. RTC provides tests for each system from cradle
to grave.

Saffell also said, RTC is all about testing, not just destroying things.

“No, we’re not testing stuff to get rid of it. All of our tests are designed to help the warfighter out in the field,” said Saffell.

It’s all to protect our soldiers, our heroes, our loved ones.

“We like to say it’s the sound of freedom,” exclaimed Saffell.
 

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