The Army has narrowed its search for a site to base its newest command -- the headquarters that will lead the service's ambitious modernization strategy -- down to five major U.S. cities.
For the past three months, Army officials have been visiting major cities that represent centers of innovation and academia to find a home for the service's Futures Command.
Army Col. Patrick Seiber, spokesman for Futures Command task force, confirmed to Military.com that Austin, Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Raleigh, North Carolina are now the final five sites under consideration, down from a starting list of 15 candidates. Rumors had been circulating for weeks that the Army had narrowed its list; Bloomberg reported June 4 that Raleigh and Boston were among the finalists.
The cities of New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles are no longer candidates.
Army Secretary Mark Esper is expected to choose the winning city by the end of June.
Under Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy first announced in March the service was considering 30 cities for Futures Command HQ.
Army leaders want Futures Command in a city that has a strong presence of industrial innovation as well as academic leaders willing to work with Army leaders on the service's bold modernization strategy.
The Army announced its plan build a future force in October. The Army's vision for modernization will ultimately replace all of its "Big Five" combat platforms from the Cold War with modern platforms and equipment. These systems include the M1 Abrams tank, Bradley fighting vehicle, Black Hawk helicopter, Apache attack helicopter and Patriot air defense system.
The Army had 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. For each priority, special cross-functional teams of experts have been assembled to pursue change for the Army.
Futures Command will be led by an Army four-star general and will begin operations in July, Army officials have said.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.