The Texas A&M University System to play role in Army’s Futures Command partnership
The Texas A&M University System will join a consortium of higher education institutions and state agencies that will offer expertise, research and innovations in support of the U.S. Army Futures Command in Austin, the U.S. Army announced Friday (July 13) from the Pentagon.
During a press conference at the Pentagon, Army officials said the effort leverages higher education offerings in Texas with private sector innovation, cutting-edge science and technology, prototyping and demonstrations and warfighter testing and feedback.
“The Texas A&M System is ready to support Army Futures Command,” Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said. “This is a great day for the state of Texas. Government and academic leaders came together to offer an unbeatable combination of talent and resources.”
Sharp added that the Texas A&M System campuses in the region – including College Station, RELLIS, San Antonio and Central Texas – as well as the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service will bolster the core mission of the Army Futures Command. The Texas A&M contribution will give American soldiers a technological advantage to bolster national security.
“We are honored to support the U.S. Army in this exciting next chapter,” said Michael K. Young, president of Texas A&M University. “With more than 15,000 graduates per year – nearly half of whom are in STEM fields – and nearly $1 billion per year in research, as well as more than 1,000 current veteran students, Texas A&M University is well equipped to deliver on expertise and innovation for future success.”
The U.S. Army Futures Command — which was announced in October 2017 and informally referred to as “modernization command” — has eight cross-functional teams working toward reducing prototype development, demonstration and testing, and the evaluation process from 60 months down to approximately 12.
“The state has a wealth of capabilities to bear between its military resources and broad academic and research base,” said Steve Cambone, director of the Texas A&M System Institute for National-Security and Cyber-Security Education and Research. “We have the breadth of resources and testing and evaluation facilities within the Texas A&M System to help the Army ‘fail early and succeed quickly’ in support of the Army’s mission to modernize.”
Among the areas the Army is aiming to modernize include development of improved long-range precision fires, a next-generation combat vehicle, future vertical lift platforms, a mobile and expeditionary Army network, air and missile defense capabilities and soldier lethality.
The Texas A&M System’s offerings include producing graduates with bachelor, master's and doctoral degrees in high-need fields including biomedical sciences, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and materials and materials engineering.
The establishment of the command marks the most significant reorganization of the institutional Army since 1973, according to Army officials. It is being headquartered in Austin to best partner with academia, industry and innovators in the private sector, while providing a good and affordable quality of life for command personnel.