Florida named finalist for US Space Command headquarters

Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP/WESH) — After first being shunned, Florida is a finalist to be the home of the U.S. Space Command headquarters.

The U.S. Air Force announced its finalists Thursday and included Florida in its list of six. Patrick Air Force Base, along the state’s Space Coast, is in the running.

The other finalists include Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Offutt AFB in Bellevue, Nebraska; Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama; and Joint Base San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas.

The Air Force initially announced six other finalists in 2019, and Florida wasn’t on the list. But the selection process was restarted after complaints that the initial phase wasn’t transparent enough.

U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz said Florida is well equipped to host the headquarters, given its history with NASA and private space companies.

The Space Force was created in 2019 when President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law. It’s the first new service since the U.S. Air Force came into being in 1947.

Space Command is currently headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado for the next six years until the U.S. Air Force establishes a permanent base.

If Patrick Air Force Base is selected, it could have significant economic benefits for the Space Coast.

It would mean more employees in Brevard County, more people buying homes in the area and more people raising families in the area.

Air Force officials will be touring the six locations in the running and expect to announce a decision in January.

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