Peters Statement on U.S. Army’s Futures Command Location Decision

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement on the U.S. Army’s decision to locate its new Futures Command in Austin, Texas:

“The U.S. Army’s Futures Command is tasked with developing the innovative technology, vehicles, and weapons that will keep America’s Fighting Forces the strongest in the world despite the changing nature of the battlefield. I am disappointed the Army selected Austin, Texas for its new Futures Command despite the fact that it ranked lower than the Detroit region in the important technical categories of proximity to talent, proximity to private sector innovation, and academic STEM research and development investment. Unfortunately, the quality of life metric prevented Detroit from even being evaluated for availability and cost of suitable space, a category in which Detroit would have had a significant advantage.

“This decision reaffirms that all our region’s stakeholders – universities, business leaders, philanthropy and all levels of government – must work together to change the perception of Detroit. Improving our region’s overall quality of life in areas from health care and neighborhood safety to air quality and opportunity can put us in a better position to compete for major public and private investments.

“Despite this decision, I am pleased that the Army has chosen to locate the Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross Functional Team (NGCV CFT) at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, which will report to Army Futures Command. TACOM and TARDEC will continue to play a critical role in the future of the Army, including innovation, acquisition, and sustainment of new technologies and capabilities. Hosting the NGCV CFT in Michigan will allow the Army and defense industrial base to benefit from Michigan’s manufacturing and innovation ecosystem and continue to attract talent and innovation to the region.

“As the Army identified in its selection process, Michigan is home to a talented workforce, significant private sector innovation, and world-class academic institutions. I encourage the Army to consider Michigan when locating facilities for development of future ground vehicle, aerospace and soldier systems platforms.”

Austin was selected for the U.S. Army’s Futures Command despite scoring lower than Detroit in a number of category metrics, including:

  • 17th in proximity to talent (Detroit scored 7th);
  • 11th in private sector innovation (Detroit scored 9th); and
  • 14th in academic STEM research and development (Detroit scored 7th).

Detroit was eliminated before the announced finalist cities solely due to its low score in the “quality of life” category – based of the AARP’s Livability Index.