Last week, the U.S. Army confirmed that Austin is one of five finalists to land its high-tech Futures Command center.
This week, Texas’ two U.S. senators are lobbying hard to make Austin the final choice.
Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn -- joined by other members of the Texas Congressional delegation -- sent a letter to Mark Esper, secretary of the Army, urging military officials to locate the facility in Central Texas.
The Texas lawmakers wrote that the Futures Command center, which will be used to build new military technologies, would fit well within Austin’s tech scene and the state’s other military facilities.
Austin’s “quality of life is virtually without equal,” the lawmakers wrote. “It has top-tier academic institutions like the University of Texas, as well as a world-class technology corridor – nicknamed ‘Silicon Hills’ – that is a mecca for innovative startups and technology leaders.”
The other four remaining finalists for the project are Boston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Raleigh, N.C., according to the Army. An Army spokesman told the American-Statesman last week that other cities previously under consideration, including Dallas and Houston, had been informed that they were no longer a contender to land the Futures Command project.
Army officials have said the facility will employ about 500 people and be the most significant reorganization since 1973. The center is expected to host top modernization initiatives, including in improving the Army’s tactical missile system, combat vehicles and helicopters, defense teams and weapons.
The Army has said it’s looking for a location with a vibrant tech culture, talent pool source and workforce with skills in biomedicine, chemistry and engineering-related fields.
Army officials visited Austin during the first week of June, with a spokesman saying then that officials toured sites in the downtown area and north of Austin.
The Army could make its final choice by the end of June, military officials have said.
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