space command

Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., left, shakes hands with Gen. John W. Raymond, the commander of the U.S. Space Command, Sept. 9, 2019, during a ceremony to recognize the establishment of the United States Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

A column in today’s editorial section by the president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC spells out the litany of good reasons President Donald Trump and Pentagon officials should keep Space Command in Colorado Springs.

This is, beyond question, the best location from the perspective of cost efficiency, geography, culture, and all major tactical considerations. This is the permanent home of the new Space Force, which comes under the direction of Space Command.

In the simplest terms, political considerations provide the only possible reason to move Space Command to another location. We would be surprised and disappointed to see our country’s military leaders use such a key component of our country’s national defense as a political pawn.

Colorado Springs and the rest of Colorado treasure the privilege of hosting Space Command. We are good at this role. Nevertheless, Space Command is not about the bragging rights and economic benefits enjoyed by this or any other region of the country.

Space Command is about keeping our country sovereign and safe as enemies around the globe become increasingly sophisticated at taking their military prowess into outer space.

With a genuine conviction that our community provides the best possible environment for Space Command and its mission, the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC this week launched a national campaign to inform the rest of the country about the benefits of keeping the agency right where it is.

"This is a national effort to promote Colorado at the best fit for the U.S. Space Command," Chamber CEO Dirk Draper said Monday on a conference call. "We will be active in our pursuit and advocacy through letters, our elected representatives (to Congress) and meetings with Pentagon (officials). When the strategic basing decision was reopened, we realized we needed to amplify our message."

Colorado Springs Chamber launches national campaign to keep Space Command

As explained in a Gazette news story, the Pentagon has identified Peterson and Schriever Air Force bases in the Colorado Springs area, Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., as the best options for the command, which oversees all military missions in orbit. Locations in Florida, Texas and Virginia have since started lobbying to become the command's permanent home.

Political pressure to move Space Command is based mostly on provincial economic concerns more than good arguments rooted in geography, culture, strategic concerns and the benefits of clustering related military missions in close proximity to leverage the economy of scale. Colorado is the epicenter of military space operations, as home to Space Force, the United States Air Force Academy, five Air Force space wings and the only space wing in the Air Force Reserve. This is home to U.S. Northern Command, the U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command and multiple additional sophisticated military operations.

Moving Space Command for any reason involves risks and expenses this country does not need and cannot afford.

The people of the United States, the president, the Pentagon and American allies know this key component of our national defense has the unqualified support of Colorado and Colorado Springs. We cherish Space Command and give thanks for the responsibility and privilege of hosting it.

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