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City of Austin Will House the Army’s New High-Tech ‘Futures Command’


In mid-July the Army chose the Texas capital out of 150 nationwide cities as the new location for their “Futures Command.” Some of the finalists included Boston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Raleigh, North Carolina. The organization will be headed by a four-star general and will oversee “the planning and purchasing of everything from futuristic helicopters to direct-energy weapons that the Pentagon believes can someday be used in missile defense, according to Washington Post writer Dan Lamothe.

So why exactly did the Army choose Austin for the creation of Futures Command, which is the largest reorganization of its headquarters in 45 years?

According to Army Under Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy, Austin was the best option because of “proximity to people with expertise in math and science, private-sector innovation and academic institutions with a history of research and development.” However, quality of life and cost of living were also factors.

While Army officials originally declined to comment on “incentives” the state and local officials offered by the end of the day it was revealed that, “The University of Texas System’s Board of Regents voted to provide the Army with space in its high-rise building in downtown Austin,” according to the Washington Post article.

“Army officials declined Friday morning to detail how much it factored in the cost of living in the cities for its people. But the differences are significant. In Austin, for example, the current median home value is $346,800, and median rent is $1,678 … In Boston, it’s $583,400 and $2,750, respectively.”

Dan Lamothe | Washington Post

This decision means that the Army will be reliant on the U.S. south in a different way — “The service has a large constellation of bases in the 10 states there and recruits nearly half of its soldiers from the region,” according to an independent study noted in the article.

[Via Washington Post]

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