The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
Down but not out
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Old Army meets new Army

Photo by Meredith Seaver

Dean of Engineering M. Katherine Banks gave a presentation on the Army Futures Command at a Board of Regents meeting.

The U.S. Army is partnering with the Texas A&M University System to build a research and technology development hub at the RELLIS Academic Complex.
The A&M system board of regents approved $80 million in funding for a Research Integration Center and associated infrastructure for use by the Army Futures Command during their meeting on Aug. 8. The funding is the second phase of a $130 million plan for the RELLIS campus. The $50 million for the first phase has already been approved for an outdoor testing area called an innovation proving ground through the A&M Engineering Extension Service that AFC will also use.
AFC is headquartered in Austin and employs 24,000 civilians in 25 states and 15 countries as of July. The organization is also partnered with University of Texas at Austin to develop robotics and assured-position, navigation and timing, as well as with Carnegie Mellon University to study artificial intelligence. However, the RELLIS complex will be the central hub for testing and evaluation of new technologies to modernize the Army.
“We consider serving the military of our nation to be the highest of honors and responsibility,” A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said in a statement. “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.”
During the board of regents meeting, Vice Chancellor of Engineering and National Laboratories M. Katherine Banks said the construction of a Ballistic, Aero-optics and Materials facility, a Mach-6 quiet tunnel and a laser-diagnostics laboratory will make A&M the hypersonics research capital of the country.
According to Banks, the A&M System will provide the environment needed to speed up research and technology development across the “Valley of Death” — where technology begins to die or stall.
“Chancellor Sharp’s remarkable vision for the RELLIS campus aligns with [AFC Commanding] General [John] Murray’s plan by transforming our 2,000-acre campus into a living laboratory,” Banks said. “With the support of our A&M System Regents, we will develop a comprehensive complex unlike any other in the nation.”
Sharp invited Murray and his staff to the RELLIS complex for three days in November of 2018 to showcase A&M’s work and projects, including Disaster City, a 52-acre training facility for emergency response professionals.
“We basically demonstrated that [A&M] could be a one-stop-shop for Army Futures Command,” A&M System Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications Laylan Copelin said. “And [AFC] liked what they saw.”
In addition to six to eight Army researchers that will be based out of the new complex, TEES and the A&M College of Engineering plan to hire around 25 engineering researchers to work with the Army. Graduate students, members of the Corps of Cadets and private companies will also have the opportunity to conduct research at the new RELLIS complex.
“Army Futures Command will probably be a magnet that draws companies here,” Copelin said. “It’s an economic driver for the community.”
Copelin said RELLIS is already home to the A&M Transportation Institute headquarters and some Blinn College facilities. Additionally, two academic buildings are in development and the Board of Regents are discussing the possibility of adding a data center.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the complex will be on Oct.12, and the complex is scheduled to be completed by June 2021.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • The Innovative Technologies Development Complex is one of the features of the Army Futures Command at the RELLIS Campus.

    Creative Commons

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *