Huntsville likely epicenter for Army Futures Command announcement

Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark Esper and Army General Gus Perna at Redstone Army Materiel Command

Army insiders expect Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark Esper to reveal at least some details about the Futures Command this week at the AUSA Global Force Symposium 2018 happening in Huntsville.

Posted: Mar 25, 2018 9:36 PM
Updated: Mar 25, 2018 9:37 PM

For the fifth straight year, Huntsville, Alabama’s hosting the Association of the United States Army Global Force Symposium. And a major announcement might break from the event.

This year’s theme: modernizing and equipping America’s Army for today and tomorrow. Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark Dsper will be the keynote speaker.

Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark Esper visiting Redstone Arsenal's Army Materiel Command

On the job only since November, Secretary Esper has already visited Huntsville once this year.

“It's my pleasure to come visit Huntsville Redstone Arsenal on my first couple of months on the job as Secretary of the Army,” Dr. Esper said while on the Arsenal in January. Esper said he was spending his first days as Secretary visiting some of the places most critical to the Army.

At this year’s symposium, many Army insiders are expecting the Secretary to announce more details about an Army Futures Command.

“So, part of that is how do we look at a different organizational arrangement?,” Esper explained. “How do we improve the processes, reduce the paperwork? How do we find the right people to lead it?”

Back in January, WAAY 31 asked Dr. Esper about the Futures Command.

“It's a different way of modernizing the force,” he told us. “We have an acquisition system right now in place that's been there for many years. It does a good job. But, we're trying to think how do we optimize that system so that we're able to deliver to soldiers the equipment and the weapons and systems they need when they need it.”

WAAY 31 also asked, but Esper wouldn’t say, where a futures command might be headquartered.

Wherever it calls home, Secretary Esper insisted an Army Futures Command won't take away from Redstone's Army Materiel Command.

"AMC is AMC,” Esper told WAAY 31. “It's critical to what the Army does. And wherever it (Futures Command) goes, what we're trying to do is find out what are the impacts on all the Army. But, AMC has a critical mission. That's not going to change. AMC is vital to what we do. They have a great leader in General Perna. And again, it's a great team of folks on the ground."

A task force was due to give Secretary Esper a recommendation for the Army Futures Command at the first of this month.

The Army's kept tight-lipped about any cities in the running.

Under Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy says there won't be hundreds of people working at the Futures Command, just enough to fill a couple floors in an office building.

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