U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ross Coffman, deputy commanding general for U.S. Army Futures Command, thanked Texas A&M for building an ecosystem for research, development and experimental testing like no other in the United States.
“We have to design the Army of 2040 and deliver the Army of 2030,” Coffman told about 250 invited guests. “It is no small task and Army Future Command cannot do it alone. It takes a secretariat, all of the other major commands and great partners just like Texas A&M.”
“That is what is going to allow us to keep our competitive advantage. Your Army is not going to let you down and neither is Texas A&M.”
The complex is the result of three-year partnership between the U.S. Army Futures Command and the Texas A&M System, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and the State of Texas.
The BCDC, on the Texas A&M-RELLIS campus, brings together researchers from U.S. universities, the military and the private sector for collaboration on military modernization initiatives.
Chancellor John Sharp told guests, “What we do for the military, we do in a hurry.”
“The BCDC represents a Texas-size commitment to national security. When the nation calls, Aggies answer.”
Guests included elected state officials and research leaders from the Department of Defense, U.S. research laboratories, the tech sector and the defense industry.
The dedication was led by BCDC Director and retired Air Force Major General Tim Green. Also participating were Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks and Interim Vice Chancellor and Dean of Texas A&M Engineering John E. Hurtado.
The event comes as an outdoor test-bed for autonomous vehicle systems, called the Innovation Proving Ground (IPG), has just begun scheduling experiments and demonstration events.
The Ballistic, Aero-optics and Materials (BAM) range for hypersonic and laser systems is to be open for testing by the middle of next year.
The BCDC headquarters and technology hub, the Research Integration Center (RIC), has been in operation for more than a year.
Guests on Friday were treated to tours and demonstrations on the IPG, including watching a M1126 Stryker light armored vehicle maneuver test sections. The Stryker was from III Armored Corps at Fort Hood, Texas.
They also enjoyed numerous presentations of research and testing projects underway at Texas A&M that have direct applications to Army modernization priorities in fields such as autonomous vehicle communication and integrated hypersonic systems.
The BCDC is named for the 41st president, whose life of leadership and public service helped freedom-loving nations prevail against oppression.
Neil Bush, son of George H.W. Bush, told guests his family is grateful for how Texas A&M carries on the legacy of his father.
“What an extraordinary way to celebrate a great man’s legacy to this country,” Bush said.
The guests also heard from Bill Mahomes, vice chairman of the System Board of Regents.
“At the end of the day, this about our shared goal of serving the men and women who serve this great nation,” Mahomes told guests. “If they must go in harm’s way, we want our war fighters to have the best equipment, every possible advantage.”
About The Texas A&M University System The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $7.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, a comprehensive health science center, eight state agencies, and the RELLIS Campus, the Texas A&M System educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 24 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceed $1 billion and help drive the state’s economy.
(Images and Video from The Texas A&M University System)
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The Texas A&M Advantage
The Texas A&M University System, the headquarters to state agencies under its purview and its flagship university all call the Brazos Valley home. Texas A&M University alone boasts more than $1 billion in annual R&D expenditures and one of the largest student bodies in the nation.
Long steeped in military history and tradition, the Brazos Valley is now an emerging force in crafting the technological future of the nation's defense. With The Texas A&M University System and its elements leading the way, partnerships between industry and research offer companies tremendous advantages in advancing their technologies. The Brazos Valley also offers a highly-skilled, well-educated, endless workforce pipeline.