Army aviator picked to lead Futures Center

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President Bush nominated Maj. Gen. John Curran — the Army's top aviation officer — to head the service's new Futures Center located at Training and Doctrine Command in Fort Monroe, Va.

The Futures Center, which started Oct. 1, will oversee development of the Army's lighter, rapid-deployable Future Force. The new organization's work includes the acquisition and fielding of the multibillion-dollar Future Combat System.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a statement issued today announced Curran's nomination as Futures Center director and appointment to lieutenant general. The two-star general currently serves as the commanding general of the Army Aviation Center and Fort Rucker, Ala.

Curran's nomination is a coup for the Army aviation community, which has complained about a lack of respect in Washington, D.C. circles. Some service aviators hold top-level Army positions, including Lt. Gen. Richard Cody, the Army's deputy chief of staff for operations, and Lt. Gen. Johnny Riggs, director of the Objective Force Task Force office now replaced by the Futures Center.

Choosing Curran could signal DOD interest in new aircraft platforms to rapidly transport vehicles in the Future Force. The Army Aviation Center this past spring worked on capabilities documents for the Air-Maneuver and Transport, an aircraft meant to easily takeoff and land behind enemy lines, and would be used to ferry FCS platforms at high speeds over long distances.

The nomination is subject to Senate approval.

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