U.S. Army officials are in the final stages of screening possible U.S. cities in search of a location to stand up the service's Futures Command.
In the past three months, a special task force has whittled down a list from 30 to 15 major U.S. cities that could offer the right mix of high-tech industry and academia to place the command that will lead the Army's new modernization effort.
Small teams have started visiting potential cities in an effort to select a handful of recommended sites to present to Army senior leaders for a decision, officials said.
Recent news reports have said the Army had reduced the list to five cities, but Col. Patrick Seiber, spokesman for the Futures Command task force, told Military.com there has been no official decision to reduce the list of 15 potential cities selected a month ago.
Those cities are Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Denver, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles.
Army officials have been reluctant to talk on the record about details of the search, but Seiber did confirm that service met with city officials in Boston and Raleigh recently. Citing a source and a letter from Under Secretary Ryan McCarthy, Bloomberg reported this week that both cities were “finalists” in the Army’s search.
Secretary of the Army Mark Esper wants to announce the city selected for Futures Command headquarters by the end of June, Seiber said, adding that the service will not guarantee that all 15 cities on the list will be visited before a decision is made.
Under Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy first announced the plan to select a city for Futures Command HQ in March. The location must have a strong presence of industrial innovation, as well as academic leaders willing to work with Army leaders on the service's massive modernization effort, officials said.
The Army announced its plan in October to build a future force that will ultimately replace its Cold-War era, Big Five combat platforms -- the M1 Abrams tank, Bradley fighting vehicle, Black Hawk helicopter, Apache attack helicopter and Patriot air defense system.
To accomplish this, the Army named six modernization priorities: long-range precision fires, next-generation combat vehicle, Future Vertical Lift, a mobile network, air and missile defense, and soldier lethality.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.