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Texas A&M System Announces Building An Army Futures Command Complex At The RELLIS Campus

The Texas A&M system’s RELLIS campus is poised to host a greater presence of the U.S. Army’s new Futures Command.

The system has announced that this Thursday’s board of regents meeting includes adding $80 million dollars to $50 million approved by the legislature to create a combat development complex.

The aim of the complex, according to an A&M system news release, is to shorten the time it takes to get emerging technologies from the lab to the field and maximize technology capabilities through soldier feedback.

When completed, the complex will allow researchers from the system and the Army to quickly evaluate prototypes that can be tested by soldiers in a real-world environment using a vast array of sensors and instruments at RELLIS.

Officially, the regents will be taking action to design and build the Innovative Technologies Development Complex for the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES).

According to background information from the regents meeting agenda, a $50 million dollar state-of-the-art 79,500 square-foot building will be located on the northwest area of the RELLIS campus. This facility will be a multifaceted-use facility and will include the following supporting functions:

 Offices, conference, and collaboration spaces for university, industry, and other subject matter experts to assess defined needs and create novel concepts.

 Applied research and development laboratories for designing technologically superior elements required to meet established concepts for each need.

 Prototyping and integration spaces for transitioning concepts into a high-performing capability by extensive prototyping.

 Innovation collaboration locations for testing and evaluating advanced-concept prototypes and technology demonstrations.

 Secure meeting spaces, sensitive equipment and data storage for reviewing field experimentation and refining the prototypes and/or new concepts.

The project has $30 million for infrastructure, a roadway extension along RELLIS Parkway, and new utilities crossing the test beds and runways.

Construction is scheduled to begin October 15, with owner occupancy projected to take place in August 2021.

Click HERE to read and download the background information for the August 8, 2019 Texas A&M system board of regents meeting.

Map of the project location from the Texas A&M university system.

From the Texas A&M university system:

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp today announced the creation of a $130 million combat development complex at the A&M System’s RELLIS Campus in Bryan.

At the RELLIS Campus, Gen. John “Mike” Murray, commanding General for the Army Futures Command, said the Army Futures Command would develop, test and evaluate next-generation technologies from the private sector and universities around the country.

The Texas A&M System will build a $50 million building with laboratories, accelerator space and offices for the Army Futures Command on the RELLIS campus, plus invest another $30 million in infrastructure improvements to support the new facility.

The Texas Legislature also appropriated $50 million to establish an innovative proving ground, which the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) will implement as an outdoor testing area at RELLIS for designing, analyzing and validating new technologies in challenging environments. Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker Dennis Bonnen championed the $50 million to be included in the state appropriations bill for the proving ground.

“This innovative new complex strengthens Texas’ partnership with the United States Military and further establishes our state as a hub for emerging technology,” said Governor Abbott. “I am proud to have worked with the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker, and the Legislature to secure funding to move this project forward. The state of Texas will continue to work with the Texas A&M System and the Army Futures Command to modernize our defense and keep our Armed Forces at the forefront of technological advancement.”

The Texas A&M System Board of Regents, which already has put the complex on the System’s capital plan, will vote Thursday to begin design and construction. A groundbreaking is scheduled for this fall.

The Army Futures Command, headquartered in Austin, is drawing on research from universities around the country and the private sector to modernize the U.S. Army, but the new facility at RELLIS will be the central hub where the newest and most innovative ideas are tested and evaluated – often by soldiers from nearby Fort Hood or members of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets.

The aim is to shorten the time it takes to get emerging technologies from the lab to the field and maximize technology capabilities through soldier feedback. A team of Army and Texas A&M System researchers will quickly evaluate prototypes that can be tested by soldiers in a real-world environment using a vast array of sensors and instruments at RELLIS.

“We are humbled and grateful to the people of Texas, Texas elected leaders, and the Texas A&M University System for the opportunity to further develop our strategic partnership through the establishment of the combat development complex on the RELLIS Campus,” said Gen. Murray. “This effort will certainly prove vital as we work together to discover, develop, and test ideas and concepts that will help our Soldiers, and our future Soldiers, to protect America’s tomorrows — beginning today.”

Not only is the RELLIS Campus close enough to the Army Futures Command headquarters and Fort Hood for ideal oversight, it is also near Texas A&M University’s world-class College of Engineering and Disaster City, the world’s largest search and rescue training facility that can double as a training site for urban warfare.

Three years ago, RELLIS didn’t even exist.

In May 2016, Chancellor Sharp announced the creation of RELLIS – named for Texas A&M’s core values of Respect, Excellence, Leadership, Loyalty, Integrity and Selfless Service. He began the building boom to redevelop the 2,000-acre property with an initial investment of $300 million. Today the campus is home to the Texas A&M System’s transportation and engineering agencies as well as an education complex served by Blinn College and Texas A&M System universities from around the state.

More growth is coming, and more construction is planned, including a state-of-the-art data center.

The arrival of the Army Futures Command will bring the RELLIS site full circle, back to the location’s June 6, 1943 opening as the Bryan Army Air Field. It also takes RELLIS to another level as companies interested in working with the Army Futures Command are expected to locate on or near the campus.

“We consider serving the military of our nation to be the highest of honors and responsibility,” said Chancellor Sharp. “Also, having the Army Futures Command at RELLIS is a game-changer for that campus and the Brazos Valley area; RELLIS was envisioned as a research dynamo and the Army’s arrival will speed that up.”

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Posted by on Aug 5 2019. Filed under Featured Stories, Local News for Newsletter, News.
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