WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — The Department of the Air Force has confirmed that Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will not be selected as the home of United States Space Force Command.
The Air Force announced Thursday that it six locations would move on to the next round of the selection process: Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, Offutt AFB, Nebraska, Patrick AFB, Florida, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Port San Antonio, Texas, and Redstone Army Airfield, Alabama.
Self-nominated communities from across 24 states were evaluated as potential locations for hosting the headquarters, the release said.
The Department of the Air Force evaluated each location and will now conduct both virtual and on-site visits at each candidate location to assess which location is best suited to host the U.S. Space Command Headquarters. This assessment will be based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, and costs to the Department of Defense.
The Air Force anticipates selecting the preferred location for U.S. Space Command Headquarters in early 2021.
Though Wright-Patterson will not be the official Space Command Headquarters, the base will still play a pivotal role in the newest branch of the military.
In a conversation with Rep. Mike Turner Wednesday afternoon, Gen. John W. Raymond confirmed to the congressman that the new National Space Intelligence Center will be located at Wright-Patt.
“Gen. Raymond reiterated his intent to have the National Space Intelligence Center (NSIC) co-located with the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) at Wright-Patterson AFB,” Turner said in a statement from his Office. “This is consistent with the CSO’s Planning Guidance for Space Force published Nov. 9.”
The CSO’s Planning Guidance for Space Force provides foundational direction for the Space Force to advance strategic objectives for the Department of Defense. Among other things, it outlines the role NASIC will play in the Space Force.
“As a focal point for space domain intelligence, we will seek to re-align space-oriented functions of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center to form a co-located National Space Intelligence Center (NSIC). NSIC will provide a framework for growth to meet anticipated demand for increased space intelligence at foundational, tactical, operational and strategic levels.”
Two squadrons from NASIC have already converted to Space Force operations in September. NASIC recently broke ground on an expansion that would accommodate nearly 1,000 employees.
“We are forging a warfighting Service that is always above,” Raymond wrote in the document’s opening statement. “Should an aggressor threaten our interests, America’s space professionals stand ready to fight and win.”
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