Air Force Picks Colorado for More Space Force Missions as Politics Loom Over Headquarters Choice

June 1, 2023by Tara Copp, Associated Press
Air Force Picks Colorado for More Space Force Missions as Politics Loom Over Headquarters Choice
President Joe Biden speaks with guests on the tarmac as he arrives at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., Wednesday, May 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Air Force announced the permanent location for many more U.S. Space Force units Wednesday — and none of them are in Huntsville, Alabama, suggesting the service may be moving ahead with at least part of the design it originally sought for the new force before it became entangled in politics.

Four more Space Force missions will now be based in Colorado Springs, a notable choice during a larger and now politicized battle over where to locate the permanent headquarters of U.S. Space Command. Colorado Springs, which is housing Space Command’s temporary headquarters, was the Air Force’s preferred location, but Donald Trump, in the final days of his presidency, selected Alabama instead.

While the Pentagon and White House have said the decisions are not directly linked, Alabama has strict anti-abortion laws, and its Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville earlier this year announced he would hold up all military nominations until the Department of Defense rescinds a new policy that would allow female service members to be reimbursed for travel costs if they have to go out of state for reproductive care.

Tuberville’s office was not immediately available for comment Wednesday evening.

The Space Force announcement came as President Joe Biden left for Colorado Springs to speak during Thursday’s commencement ceremony at the nearby U.S. Air Force Academy.

Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet said he’ll be using the president’s visit as another opportunity to press for the command.

“As President Biden and his administration near a final basing decision for Space Command, we urge them to restore the integrity of this process and make a decision in the interest of our national security — to keep Space Command in Colorado Springs,” his office said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Air Force has been moving forward with getting fully dug in at Colorado Springs, where more than 20 of the military’s space missions are now based. The Air Force Academy now has a space curriculum and graduates Space Force Guardians alongside its Air Force cadets.

“Colorado Springs continues to prove itself as the premier location for our nation’s space defense operations,” Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn said in a statement announcing the selection.

The Space Force, founded in December 2019, is the smallest of the military branches, with just under 8,400 personnel. But it has seen its budget rapidly rise as the U.S. has scrambled to defend against a rapid militarization of space, such as North Korea’s failed Wednesday launch of a ballistic missile believed to be carrying a spy satellite.

The four new missions in Colorado Springs include Delta 15, a headquarters unit for the service’s space operations command; Space Delta 12, a test and evaluation unit; and two surveillance squadrons.

Other locations announced Wednesday as new permanent homes for Space Force missions are in Florida and New Mexico.

A+
a-
  • Space Force
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Military

    Over 1M Claims Related to Toxic Exposure Granted Under New Veterans Law, Biden Announces

    NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — President Joe Biden, aiming to highlight his legislative accomplishments this election year, traveled to New Hampshire on... Read More

    NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — President Joe Biden, aiming to highlight his legislative accomplishments this election year, traveled to New Hampshire on Tuesday to discuss how he's helped military veterans get benefits as a result of burn pit or other toxic exposure during their service. “We can never... Read More

    May 16, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Federal, State Agency Collaboration Speeds Recovery From Baltimore’s Key Bridge Collapse

    WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg remembers Monday, March 25, as being like any other night. The last thing he... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg remembers Monday, March 25, as being like any other night. The last thing he did before going to sleep that night was put his cellphones on a dresser across from his bed, “so I’m not tempted to keep myself awake... Read More

    April 13, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Iran Launches Drone Attack Against Israel

    WASHINGTON – Iran launched a drone against Israel, the Israeli military said Saturday afternoon, in apparent retaliation for a deadly... Read More

    WASHINGTON – Iran launched a drone against Israel, the Israeli military said Saturday afternoon, in apparent retaliation for a deadly Israeli airstrike in early April on the Iranian Embassy complex in Damascus, Syria. President Joe Biden cut short his weekend stay at his vacation home in... Read More

    Harris Repudiates Trump Worldview and Says the US Won't Back Down on Ukraine's Defense

    MUNICH (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday warned of the dangers of growing authoritarianism and isolationism in a... Read More

    MUNICH (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday warned of the dangers of growing authoritarianism and isolationism in a not-so-veiled repudiation of Donald Trump’s worldview and threats to renege on security guarantees for NATO allies should he return to the White House. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Harris offered... Read More

    Biden to Attend Dignified Transfer for Three US Troops Killed in Jordan

    WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will join grieving families at Dover Air Force Base on... Read More

    WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will join grieving families at Dover Air Force Base on Friday to honor three American service members killed in a drone attack in Jordan, a solemn ritual that has become relatively uncommon in recent years as the... Read More

    Defense Department to Target 'Forever Chemicals' Contamination Near Michigan Military Base

    The U.S. Department of Defense plans to install two more groundwater treatment systems at a former Michigan military base to... Read More

    The U.S. Department of Defense plans to install two more groundwater treatment systems at a former Michigan military base to control contamination from so-called forever chemicals, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin's office announced Friday. Environmentalists say the systems will help prevent PFAS from spreading into the Clarks... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top