Colorado Springs is home to the bulk of the military’s space troops with Air Force Space Command and Army Space and Missile Defense Command at Peterson Air Force Base and other units at Schriever Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station and Fort Carson. But that didn’t slow Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis from making a pitch to put the Space Force in a new home.
“Today, I am formally sending a request to @real DonaldTrump to place the headquarters for the Space Force Combatant Command here in Florida @NASA Kennedy in Cape Canaveral,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter.
Trump on Tuesday signed “Space Policy Directive 4,” which called for the creation of a Space Force and placing the new service, temporarily, under the Department of the Air Force. The approach is designed to woo lawmakers who fear pushing space troops into a new service branch will balloon bureaucracy and costs.
The Space Force is still just a dream for Trump, who began crusading for the new service early in his presidency and continues to use the proposal as a crowd-pleaser at his rallies.
Congress must create the service and set new policies that will outline its roles and missions. Lawmakers will also hold sway on where the new service is located and what real estate, if any, will be transferred to the branch.
Colorado lawmakers have pushed for more than a year to house the new service, with Colorado Springs Republican U.S. Rep Doug Lamborn leading the charge. Lamborn this year took the post as ranking member of the powerful subcommittee overseeing military readiness and told The Gazette he will use that heft to push the service to Colorado.
Lamborn was joined Wednesday by Colorado Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, who issued a plea to house the Space Force here.
“Colorado is proud to support our nation’s military space operations today and into the future,” Gardner said in a statement. “I look forward to reviewing the Administration’s proposal for expanded space operation and development.”
What the Space Force will look like is still up in the air, and the new service could be killed before it is launched by House Democrats. Washington Democratic Rep. Adam Smith, who heads the House Armed Services Committee, is already tangling with Trump over the president’s border wall deal.
In declaring an emergency to build the border wall, Trump targeted more than $3.5 billion in military construction funds and also raided a Pentagon account for counter-narcotics operations.
“It is not our top national security priority to build a wall at our southern border.,” Smith said on Twitter. “Taking money from the Department of Defense for this purpose makes us less safe.”
Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240 Twitter: @xroederx