AUSTIN, Texas — The U.S. Army is hoping its new command will thrive here, in glass-walled rooms filled with 3D printers, half-assembled robotics and designers donning hoodies.
The Army Futures Command is responsible for leveraging innovation, improving agility, and leaping ahead of emerging threats — a hearty task for the service, which has historically faced layers of bureaucratic minutiae.
For that reason, the command was placed in the upbeat heart of downtown Austin, Texas, which has become one of the biggest magnets for tech investment and entrepreneurship outside of California.
"Locating it [the command] here in Austin demonstrates the type of bold change we need to excel in today's combat environment," Mark Esper, secretary of the Army, said Friday during the Army Futures Command ribbon-cutting ceremony.
"We knew that to do this right we needed to immerse ourselves in an environment where innovation encourages speeds far faster than our current process," Esper said, noting that the Army was excited to establish a command outside of a military base.