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Concerns Raised Over Futures Command Site

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U.S. Army
Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Establishing the Army Futures Command in an urban location near centers of emerging technology and innovation to allow interaction with leading academic and commercial institutions is a crucial aspect of the biggest organizational restructuring since 1973. But it is not necessarily sitting well with lawmakers representing established Army communities.

In its report accompanying the 2019 military construction funding bill, the powerful House Appropriations Committee accepts the idea that the Army needs a new command focused on achieving “clear overmatch in future conflicts.” However, the members are “concerned that the Army is failing to consider existing locations that could be suitable for this new command.”

The Army narrowed the possible location of the new command to 15 cities. Only one, Raleigh, N.C., has a large nearby Army installation. The other cities under consideration are Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.

Army leaders intend to narrow the list of potential locations by early June to about four, and to make an announcement at the selected site in mid-June.

Undersecretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy told lawyers in mid-April that the command will be “small, dynamic and composed of the very best from our military and civilian workforce.” He estimated it will have fewer than 500 people.

The Army wants the command located in an urban area that has a growing technology community, a good transportation system, available and affordable housing, and an airport that has flights to major cities and hubs.

The House committee wants more information. It directed the Army to provide a report about how the 15 locations were selected and to identify current Army locations not on the list that could be home to the command.