Boeing moves missile defense office to Ala.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - The Boeing Co. is relocating the headquarters for its missile defense systems division to north Alabama from Virginia.

The decision announced Tuesday means between 40 and 50 jobs may be transferred to the new location in Huntsville by the end of the year.

"By moving its missile defense headquarters to Huntsville, Boeing is making a powerful statement about its faith in Alabama's future and the caliber of our highly skilled workforce," Governor Riley said.  "On behalf of all Alabamians, I thank Boeing for its continued commitment to Huntsville and to our state."

The office has been located in Arlington, Va., managing the work of about 3,500 people nationwide.

Boeing is the largest aerospace company in Alabama and one of the state's largest employers.

It already has about 3,200 employees in Alabama, with most in the Tennessee Valley near Redstone Arsenal and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)