Georgia congressmen push Atlanta as future site of new Army command

Georgia’s congressional delegation is urging the Pentagon to locate a new command focused on modernizing the U.S. Army in Atlanta, citing the city’s proximity to technology companies, universities, military bases and the world’s busiest airport.

The Army Futures Command is part of the military’s efforts to restructure how it researches, develops and acquires new equipment.

“Modernizing the Army is critical to maintaining readiness and global superiority in support of our national defense,” Georgia’s congressmen and senators wrote in a letter this week to Army Secretary Mark Esper. “Your serious consideration of Atlanta as a future home for Futures Command is greatly appreciated.”

The Army said Thursday there are “multiple locations under consideration.”

“The Army Futures Command Task Force stationing team is using a comprehensive set of criteria, such as availability of talent, accessibility, proximity to innovation centers, cost of living (among other criteria) in order to develop a recommendation for senior army leaders,” Col. Patrick Seiber, a spokesman for Army Futures Command Task Force, said in an email. “The recommendation is scheduled to be submitted in the next six months. The headquarters will not be fully established in the new location until 2019.”

Army Times reported this month that the Pentagon would consider 30 cities in deciding where to lease office space for the future site of the command. That list will be narrowed to 10 and then finally to four finalists.

“This isn’t like a standard basing decision, where we’re moving a brigade combat team somewhere,” Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy told Army Times. “We needed access to academia and business, and those two kind of key characteristics. Where the systems engineers, software engineers are.”