The U.S. Army announced July 13 that, after a months-long review of potential sites, its new Futures Command will be headquartered in Austin, Texas.
Army Futures Command, which began operations July 1, will lead the Army's future force modernization enterprise. The command is expected to assess the future operational environment, emerging threats, and new technologies in order to develop and deliver concepts, requirements, future force designs, and modern materiel solutions to meet our Soldiers' wartime needs.
The Army has worked hard increasing current readiness and strengthening its combat formations. Futures Command will provide that same focus to future readiness by fine tuning and implementing the service's modernization strategy to increase the Army's lethality against near-peer competitors in tomorrow's conflicts.
"The establishment of the Army Futures Command is the best example of our commitment to the future readiness and lethality of the force," said Secretary of the Army Hon. Mark T. Esper. "Army Futures Command will help fulfill the Army Vision by addressing the key shortcomings of the current acquisition system, providing unity of command, effort, and purpose to the entire modernization enterprise."
Futures Command will lead the Army's force modernization efforts; it is charged with providing Soldiers the weapons and equipment they need, when they need them. This new four-star command will complement the Army's other four-star headquarters -- Forces Command, Training and Doctrine Command and Army Materiel Command -- and is scheduled to reach full operational capability in summer 2019.
"This is a big year for the Army because we believe that we need to significantly reform the way the Army does research and development, testing and evaluation, procurement, and everything else that contributes to the modernization process," said Gen. Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army.
Establishment of the command marks the most significant reorganization of the institutional Army since 1973, when it created U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) and U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Unique in structure and design, it is being headquartered in Austin, Texas to better partner with academia, industry, and innovators in the private sector, while providing a good and affordable quality of life for Futures Command personnel.
When it reaches full operating capacity in summer 2019, the headquarters will comprise about 500 personnel. Sub-organizations, many of which currently reside within TRADOC and AMC, will transition to Army Futures Command in the coming months. The Army has no plan to physically move units or personnel from these commands at the present time.
"This is not about moving lots of people from other commands," said Ryan D. McCarthy, Under Secretary of the Army. "Army Futures Command can be best characterized as a restructuring and de-layering to maintain the 'best in breed' in all military capabilities."
Army Futures Command also oversees the Army's eight cross-functional teams, which are aligned against the Army's six modernization priorities. Each CFT is expected to facilitate faster acquisition decision making by Army senior leaders in order to meet the needs of the future force, consistent with the Army Vision.