The U.S. Air Force released a list of finalist sites to house Headquarters, U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM). Brevard County’s Patrick Air Force Base will be one of six locations to participate in the next phase of the process. Brevard joins Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado; Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico; Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; and Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska as finalists.
“I’m pleased that Florida has been selected as a finalist to host the nation’s U.S. Space Command,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Florida remains the world’s premier gateway to space, and with our state’s long history of supporting our nation’s efforts in space, Florida provides the perfect location for this new headquarters. I look forward to the possibility of bringing the U.S. Space Command home to Florida.”
“Brevard County’s selection by the U.S. Air Force as a candidate to house the U.S. Space Command is recognition of not only the Space Coast’s unique defense and aerospace capabilities but also the area’s rich aerospace heritage,” said Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “We believe no other state brings as much to the table as Florida, and I am pleased with today’s announcement. Governor DeSantis and I, along with Space Florida, look forward to continuing to support this effort.”
“Florida’s defense and aerospace ecosystem provide unique opportunities that would benefit USSPACECOM,” said Frank DiBello, president and CEO of Space Florida, “and I am pleased that the U.S. Air Force has identified that capability with Brevard County’s selection in the down-select process for its headquarters. Space Florida applauds today’s announcement and looks forward to working with the State of Florida, the Air Force and our local partners in continuing this effort.”
“Florida’s Space Coast is the 21st-Century answer for what will give our nation and warfighters the edge on this 21st-Century battlefield,” said Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast. “Our unmatched quantity and quality of defense, civil and commercial space assets and expertise offer U.S. Space Command the agility, innovation and boldness needed to project space power.”
In partnership with Enterprise Florida and the Florida Defense Alliance, Space Florida worked with interested communities in the Sunshine State to support their self-nominations. In June, Florida Governor DeSantis endorsed and submitted eight letters of nomination from Florida communities to the US Air Force. The locations were: City of Jacksonville, City of Pensacola, Hillsborough County – Tampa, Miami-Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville and Pinellas County. Orange and Seminole counties later combined their applications into a single Orlando Region bid. All communities made it to the evaluation phase, and in August, replied to questionnaires from the Air Force to assess each nominating community’s ability to host, employ and sustain the headquarters of USSPACECOM.
In August of 2019, U.S. Space Command was established as the military’s 11th unified combatant command. The Air Force has said that it expects to announce a final site next year, but that it could take up to six years to construct new facilities. During that time, USSPACECOM will remain provisionally headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.