Austin in the running for new Army command center
It’s the military version of the Amazon headquarters sweepstakes. Five city finalists are vying to land the Pentagon’s Army Futures Command, a newly launched operational arm designed to modernize the Army while developing cutting-edge technologies.All five of the cities are infested with liberals with one degree or another of hostility to the military. They are all also attempting to be sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants, although the State of Texas has passed laws making that effort illegal within the state. Austin is also closer to a major Army base, Fort Hood, a few miles up I-35. Texas and to a lesser degree North Carolina are conservative states with broad support for the military.
With a decision expected within the next month, the last-ditch battle among the five potential host cities — Boston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Raleigh, and Austin — once again shines a light on the economic clout the Defense Department wields, and how its decisions can mean big money or big disappointment for the contenders.
The winning site will reap the benefits of a state-of-the-art military facility and an influx of high-tech spinoff jobs, and will quickly become the epicenter of a groundbreaking research partnership between the public and private sectors.
Top-ranking Pentagon officials have visited each of the cities over the past several weeks. They say they are encouraging competition and urging regional economic leaders to put their best foot forward.
“We’ve been, for over six months, looking at where the innovation centers in the U.S. are. We’ve gone through a very deliberative process — in some respects, similar to what you’ve read about in the newspapers with the way Amazon went through their process,” Maj. Gen. William Hix, deputy director of the Army Futures Command Task Force, told the Defense One tech conference in Washington this week.
Once up and running, the Army Futures Command will represent the most sweeping Army reorganization effort since the 1970s. Officials say that at its core, the command will be tasked with imagining threats the U.S. could face and taking steps to prepare for them.
“It’s looking at pulling the Army into the future. How do you defend tomorrow today? You can’t win tomorrow’s wars with the last war’s tactics, techniques, procedures, equipment,” said Army Col. Patrick Seiber, spokesman for the Futures Command Task Force.