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Army Futures Command descends on Long Center for one-year anniversary in Austin

Members of the U.S. Army Drill Team on Monday perform during an Army Futures Command event celebrating its first anniversary in Austin. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

A drill team spinning bayonets, parachutists and helicopter flyovers came to Austin Monday night — and it wasn’t for a military exercise.

The Army Futures Command program, which aims to link the military branch with tech companies to update its technology, celebrated its one-year anniversary in the city at the Long Center and Auditorium Shores with its event “Thank you, Austin!” Futures Command moved into the University of Texas System’s downtown offices last August.

“We’re a part of the Austin cultural landscape now, and (Austinites) have taught us a lot about Austin culture,” said Col. Patrick Seiber, communications director for Futures Command.

Seiber also said the event would serve as a chance to further raise awareness about Futures Command’s presence in the city.

“We knew what we would have to do in order to catch up and get this modernization. We had to be in a city that we could smash into innovators and thinkers and academia. You get the whole nexus of all of that in a place here like Austin,” Seiber said. “We’re going to declare ourselves fully operational at the end of the month, and it’s because of all the things this community has allowed us to do.”

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The Army’s drill team and rock band both performed outside as people milled around between food trucks and stations to learn about various aspects of the Army and Futures Command’s work.

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© 2019 Austin American-Statesman