Sorry, Florida, Looks Like You’re Not Getting US Space Command

By Marcus Weisgerber

April 8, 2019

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO — Despite Florida lawmakers’ push to land the military’s newest command, the Pentagon is not considering any locations in the state, according to Air Force documents.

Four bases in Colorado, one in California, and one in Alabama are among the locations under consideration, according to an Air Force briefing slide being circulated around the Pentagon. Defense One reviewed a copy of the slide, which was first reported by CNN.

The list includes:

Air Force Space Command is currently located at Peterson Air Force Base. The new U.S. Space Command will initially be based there. The Air Force will conduct a review before determining the location of U.S. Space Command, according to Pentagon sources familiar with the decision.

Florida politicians have been pressing the Pentagon to consider the Space Coast for the military’s newest warfighting command. The Air Force launches rockets from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, part of Patrick Air Force Base, near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

Among the criteria for Space Command’s eventual location: It must have room for a 421,000-square-foot facility, a 288,000-square-foot parking lot, internet connections of about 1.5 gigabytes-per-second, be near “critical space force expertise,” be co-located with a “space component/center,” and have access to an airport that can handle the C-17 airlifter, according to the briefing slides.

Space Command is expected to be comprised of 1,450 personnel, including roughly 390 officers, 183 enlisted, 827 civilians, and 50 contractors, according to the briefing. The White House has nominated Gen. Jay Raymond, the head of Air Force Space Command, to become commander of U.S. Space Command. Another six general officers — one three-star, three two-stars and one one-star — are expected to be part of the command’s leadership, according to the briefing.

It’s unclear what will happen to Air Force Space Command once the new combatant command takes shape.

Pentagon officials are hoping to stand up U.S. Space Command in the coming months, but a legislative hurdle has slowed its creation.

By Marcus Weisgerber // Marcus Weisgerber is the global business editor for Defense One, where he writes about the intersection of business and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as Pentagon correspondent for Defense News and chief editor of Inside the Air Force. He has reported from Afghanistan, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, and often travels with the defense secretary and other senior military officials.

April 8, 2019