$130M Bush Combat Development Complex breaks ground at Texas A&M system RELLIS Campus


COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KETK) – The official groundbreaking and naming of the new Bush Combat Development Complex, named in honor of former President George H.W. Bush.

Texas A&M University System, U.S. Army and Army Futures Command officials and the Bush family were on the RELLIS campus Saturday for the celebration.

“We face a complex security environment, one that requires we maintain our competitive edge today while simultaneously building tomorrows. I am grateful for the commitment from the people of Texas and especially The Texas A&M University System to help the Army ensure we never send our service members into a fair fight now and in the future,” said James McPherson, senior official performing the duties of the Under Secretary of the Army.  

The son of the President and Barbara Bush, Neil Bush was in attendance and spoke on behalf of the name.

“My father loved Texas A&M University and this community. He also loved his country and was both a proud veteran and commander in chief. Having a facility dedicated to providing this nation’s military men and women with the most technologically advanced equipment possible is a tremendous honor to my father’s memory and his service to this country,” said Bush.

The $130 million complex will allow the school to provide a way to accelerate research and technology development to modernize the Army.

The investment is comprised of $50 million from the Texas Legislature during the 2019 session for establishing an “Innovative Proving Ground” at RELLIS, and $80 million from the Texas A&M System Board of regents for constructing a “Research Innovation Center” and affiliated infrastructure.

“When we first envisioned how we could use the RELLIS Campus to support the Army, one name came to mind, George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st U.S. President. The Bush Combat Development Complex will provide a living laboratory unlike any other and will uphold the highest values of service to our nation,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of the Texas A&M System.

The new complex will allow researches to quickly evaluate prototypes that can be tested by soldiers in a real-world environment, using a vast array of sensors and instruments.

“Texas continues to be at the epicenter of development in advanced technologies, and the new Bush Combat Development Complex at Texas A&M System’s RELLIS Campus is a perfect example to continue that momentum,” said State Rep. Greg Bonnen (R-League City). “The technology which will be created and tested here will not only help advance our military, but it will also keep our soldiers safer in the field.”

“The agreement between the Texas A&M System and U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory is the first step in a long-term partnership with the Army Futures Command,” said Sharp. 

“The Combat Development Complex will bring together diverse partners from businesses – large and small – academia, and most importantly, our soldiers,” said Gen. John “Mike” Murray, commanding general for the Army Futures Command. “That’s an important lesson we’ve learned here at Army Futures Command: when we bring the team together, we can innovate faster to develop game-changing solutions. By testing emerging technology in an operationally relevant environment, with soldiers providing feedback, we can evaluate it early to ensure we’re getting exactly what our troops need in the field.”

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