First for Army: Scout­ing big cities for new com­mand HQ

Manteca Bulletin - - Nation -

WASH­ING­TON, D.C. (AP) — The U.S. Army is scout­ing large cities to find a home for a new com­mand head­quar­ters so it will be close to academia and in­dus­try, a first for the ser­vice.

The Army typ­i­cally likes to put its fa­cil­i­ties away from pop­u­la­tion cen­ters be­cause there is space to train in ru­ral ar­eas and op­er­a­tions won’t dis­rupt the pub­lic.

The new com­mand will fo­cus on what the Army of the fu­ture should look like. The Army wants to be near ex­perts in tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion who can help fig­ure that out.

Fif­teen cities were in con­tention: At­lanta; Austin, Texas; Bos­ton; Chicago; Dal­las; Den­ver; Hous­ton; Los Angeles; Min­neapo­lis; New York; Philadelphia; Raleigh, North Carolina; San Diego; San Fran­cisco; and Seat­tle.

Army of­fi­cials asked may­ors for in­put, and then chose fi­nal­ists. They haven’t an­nounced which cities made the cut but are now vis­it­ing the fi­nal­ists to rec­om­mend a site to the Army sec­re­tary. They’ve been to Bos­ton, Raleigh and Austin so far.

The site for the Fu­tures Com­mand head­quar­ters is ex­pected to be an­nounced by the end of June.

“We’re look­ing at the best of what Amer­ica has to of­fer when it comes to tech­nol­ogy and in­dus­try and ed­u­ca­tion,” said Army Col. Pa­trick Seiber, spokesman for the Army Fu­tures Com­mand Task Force. “That means we need to get to where these folks are.”

Some ques­tions and an­swers about the Army’s quest: WHAT WILL THE NEW HEAD­QUAR­TERS DO? The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been so de­mand­ing, Army of­fi­cials say they haven’t planned enough for how they will fight wars years from now. Army Sec­re­tary Mark Esper has said, “The present has con­sumed the fu­ture.”

The Fu­tures Com­mand will have a staff of roughly 500 peo­ple, led by a four-star gen­eral. It will try to fig­ure out what the emerg­ing threats are, what equip­ment will be needed and how to use it. It will help the Army get the right equip­ment quickly and pro­pose changes to war-fight­ing strate­gies.

“We can’t try to win the next war us­ing the last war’s equip­ment and tac­tics,” Seiber said.

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