Gov. Ron DeSantis isn’t giving up hope that the Sunshine State can be home to the U.S. Space Command.
“USSPACECOM belongs in Florida,” the governor wrote on Twitter. “[Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez] and I remain confident of Florida’s unique qualifications. Our commercial space industry is flourishing and no other state hosts more Combatant Commands.”
DeSantis was reacting to a CNN report stating that the U.S. Air Force is not considering Florida as a potential landing spot for the operational command center.
According to CNN, the six finalists are:
Buckley Air Force Base (Colorado)
Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station (Colorado)
Peterson Air Force Base (Colorado)
Schriever Air Force Base (Colorado)
Army’s Redstone Arsenal (Alabama)
Vandenberg Air Force Base (California)
Apparently, a memo has circulated that Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson has approved the military branch’s findings that these locations are equipped to house the base.
While the Air Force did not dispute the list of bases, an Air Force spokesperson told CNN the list of candidates is not considered final.
Florida leadership is hanging on to that fact.
“Despite recent media reports that Florida did not make the initial list of recommended locations by the U.S. Air Force, I believe Florida is very much still in the running,” Danny Burgess, executive director for the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, wrote in a letter to Florida’s congressional members.
Burgess noted in his letter that “more than 20 percent of Florida’s population comprises of veterans, servicemembers and their families,” which is why “Florida already has the physical, logistical and workforce infrastructure to support the aerospace and military operational needs of USSPACECOM.”
It’s no coincidence Burgess highlighted Florida’s military roots since the Air Force’s criteria for a command location included co-location with an existing military organization, communications connectivity and available base support, among other things.
Back in February, President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive 4, which set in motion the creation of the sixth branch of the U.S. military.
It wasn’t long after that announcement that DeSantis sent a letter to the president urging him to headquarter the command at Cape Canaveral.
“As the most military friendly state in the country with a fast-growing commercial aerospace industry, Florida is the ideal location for USSPACECOM,” the governor wrote.
Right out of the gate there was bipartisan support to bring the base to Florida. Congressional members on both sides of the aisle penned a letter to Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan following the president’s announcement.
“Florida has a strong defense and aerospace industry base and also has a long history of supporting America’s military community,” the letter read co-signed by 13 political leaders. “Our state is committed to assisting our brave service members who go into harm’s way overseas, and now into the frontier of space.”
A non-binding memorial to Congress urging the base be located in the Sunshine State could go before the full Florida House soon. Around the same time, the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the Space Force.
Mike has more than 30 years of experience in marketing and public relations. He once owned his own agency and has worked with some of the largest brands in the world.