As the U.S. Air Force whittles down potential locations for the headquarters of the new U.S. Space Command, Colorado is emerging as an early front-runner, an Air Force memo obtained by CNN last Friday shows.
The Air Force isn’t disputing the validity of the CNN report, which names four Colorado bases – Buckley Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Peterson Air Force Base and Schriever Air Force Base – as potential locations of the command, as well as the Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Alabama and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, Defense News writes.
However, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said that the document was an “early draft,” raising the possibility that other candidate bases could be added to the mix later.
“No candidate basing lists have been sent to the Secretary of the Air Force for consideration,” she said in a statement.
This could be good news for states like Florida and Louisiana, where lawmakers are making a big pitch for the honors of hosting the new command, Defense News added.
Meanwhile, Alabama’s hopes are up too, as Congressman Bradley Byrne claimed that work is being done in Washington to push for a future Space Force headquarters in Huntsville.
According to WAFF 48, when asked about his efforts to bring the Space Force headquarters to Huntsville, Byrne said Huntsville is on the shortlist and that all congressmen from Alabama are pushing for the headquarters.
Pentagon leaders such as acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein have repeatedly called the establishment of USSPACECOM the most important of the Trump administration’s three-pronged plan to overhaul the military space enterprise. Other proposed actions include the creation of a new service branch called the Space Force and a new space technology acquisition node known as the Space Development Agency.
Unlike the creation of the Space Force, the President does not need congressional approval to create a new unified combatant command like USSPACECOM. However, the Senate is responsible for confirming Air Force Space Command chief Gen. Jay Raymond, nominated to take the reins of the new command, and approving the $83.8 million sum requested for fiscal 2020 to stand up operations and build a headquarters.