First for Army: Scouting big cities for new command HQ
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.