San Antonio campaigns to host U.S. Space Command headquarters
As the U.S. Air Force prepares to select the site for the new U.S. Space Command headquarters in January 2021, San Antonio officials are taking the discussion to Washington, D.C.
San Antonio’s contingent comprises Mayor Ron Nirenberg, retired Marine Maj. Gen. Juan Ayala, director of the city’s Office of Military and Veteran Affairs, and Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, president and chief executive officer of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.
They are scheduled to speak with the Air Force chief of staff, the U.S. Space Force chief of space operations, and other high-ranking military officers.
The Air Force chief of media operations confirmed the branch is on track for selecting candidates in mid- to late-November for site visits. San Antonio, along with Houston, Fort Worth, and other major metropolitan areas across the country, are under consideration after the Air Force whittled the list of 100 nominees from 26 states.
Colorado Springs, Colorado, remains the location for the provisional headquarters for USSPACECOM until a permanent headquarters location is selected and facilities are ready in approximately six years.
To be eligible, communities must have a population base that is within the top 150 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the United States based on census bureau 2019 population estimates, be located within 25 miles of a military base, and have a Livability Index score of 50 points out of 100 or higher as determined by the American Association of Retired Persons Public Policy Institute.
When fully established, USSPACECOM will have about 1,400 military and civilian personnel working in the headquarters.
The president of the United States established U.S. Space Command in December 2018 as the newest of the 11 unified commands in the Department of Defense. USSPACECOM is distinct from and complementary to the U.S. Space Force.