FAYETTEVILLE – North Carolina is regarded by many as one of, if not the most military friendly states in the nation. The military installations footprint in the Old North State is extensive, featuring the largest military base in the world in Fort Bragg, and Camp Lejeune, the largest Marine Corps base on the East Coast, as well as multiple research, and training installations. It is only fitting, then, that the Triangle is one of the U.S. Army’s finalists for their ‘Futures Command’ post.
“Bringing the U.S. Army’s planned Futures Command to North Carolina makes sense, according to state officials.
And to prove it, they are asking the Army to take a look at how state officials and organizations already partner with or support key military groups, from sprawling Fort Bragg to the Army Research Office in Research Triangle Park.
The other contenders are Atlanta, Austin, Texas; Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.
[Sec. of NC Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs Larry] Hall said Army officials are looking outside Raleigh’s city limits. He said the state is pitching the entire Triangle area as a potential home for Futures Command, including Durham and Research Triangle Park.
It’s a natural fit, he said, citing the area’s academic institutions, research partners and overall quality of life.
But the biggest selling point might be those existing relationships, Hall added.
“We have 10 percent of the Army at Fort Bragg,” he said. “And we have established facilities for testing and training that the rest of the world doesn’t have.”
The Army has said that the creation of Futures Command represents one of the largest reorganizations in modern Army history. The command will be tasked with leading and streamlining modernization efforts across the Army and would be comprised of organizations currently split between the Army’s three existing major commands, which includes U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Eustis, Virginia; and U.S. Army Material Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
Instead of placing the command on an existing military installation, Army officials have said they want to house the new unit within a city and close to universities and technology companies.”
Considering the nature of the Futures Command project, it’s hard to imagine a more well equipped location for the Army’s final choice. The military already comprises the second largest economic footprint in North Carolina at $66 billion annually, second only to agriculture.
The command will reportedly host about 500-1000 people, but, as anyone near current military installations can tell you, such operations can spur whole ecosystems of correlated industry investments and jobs.
The list of reasons for the Army to pick North Carolina to spearhead the future of our nation’s defense is long, but being First in Freedom shouldn’t be least among them.