Space Command

The Air Force Space Command is based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs is "extremely well-positioned" to move from the interim home of the U.S. Space Command's headquarters for the next six years to becoming the command's permanent home, Mayor John Suthers said Friday.

Colorado Springs has a ready-made workforce for the command made up of Air Force Academy cadets, who can serve as interns and be stationed there sometime after they graduate, Suthers said during a news conference the day after the city was named one of six finalists to be the command's permanent home. The academy's location adjacent to Colorado Springs creates "tremendous synergies" with the command that are not available anywhere else, he said.

Colorado Springs advances in sweepstakes to house U.S. Space Command

"We could transition to be the permanent home of the U.S. Space Command with very little effort and virtually no additional expense to the U.S. Air Force that would be involved in moving someplace else," Suthers said. "We've also got the private-sector workforce from the aerospace community that have operations here" as an additional benefit the command has if it remains at Peterson Air Force Base.

Colorado Springs is competing with military bases in Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, New Mexico and Texas to land the command's permanent headquarters. A decision is expected in January. Aurora also made a bid for the headquarters, but didn't make the finalist list.

Colorado's case to house U.S. Space Command grows even stronger

Suthers said the rest of the selection process will include answering a detailed questionnaire on educational opportunities, local schools and hospitals, even more detailed than one completed earlier in the process. The process also will include a site visit hosted by the commander of Peterson Air Force Base and a virtual presentation by Suthers and Gov. Jared Polis on the "quality and assets of Colorado Springs and why we would be an appropriate home" for the command.

The stakes in the competition are high — more than 1,500 military personnel at the headquarters and an economic shot in the arm for the military contracting industry worth billions of dollars a year, Suthers said. The National Cybersecurity and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs would also benefit by the command remaining at its current location, he said.

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Reggie Ash, chief defense development officer of the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, said in an interview after the news conference that Colorado Springs would become a "magnet for the aerospace industry" if it is selected for the command's permanent headquarters, with an estimated annual economic impact of more than $1 billion.

"This is worth all of the hard work we are putting into it," Ash said. "There are five other strong competitors that are working hard on this, but they don't have the strong assets we have."

Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234



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