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San Antonio Vies to Be Home of New U.S. Space Command

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Wednesday that the city has survived the initial cut as the Air Force seeks a headquarters for the command, which is currently located in Colorado Springs, Colo.

by Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News / August 6, 2020

(TNS) — San Antonio is in the hunt to be the new home of U.S. Space Command.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Wednesday the city has survived the initial cut as the Air Force seeks a headquarters for the command, which is now in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Governors from 26 states nominated cities to host the command, which is part of U.S. Space Force.

Nirenberg, who said he learned of the development last weekend, didn’t know how many cities were originally in the contest or how many had made the cut, but he said Houston and Fort Worth also had been nominated by Gov. Greg Abbott.

He said San Antonio was a natural fit for the command because of its quality of life, highly skilled work force that includes military personnel transitioning to civilian life, large veterans community, and specialists who work in space-related fields.

“We have the largest presence of cyber and intelligence capabilities outside of the national capital region,” Nirenberg said. “And we have a public-private military and civilian infrastructure that’s required, including medical and military support networks, housing, transportation and veteran services, as well as electric, water, gas and telecommunications that are all critically important. And not to mention the proximity to our key allies in North America and the presence of significant private space flight technology that’s underway.”

Space Force was established in December and is the space warfare branch of the armed forces. One of eight uniformed services, it was created with the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and will be stood up over the next 18 months.

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Wednesday a release announcing criteria for cities seeking to host Space Command was sent out May 15. She said the Air Force had entered the evaluation phase of the selection process and that it would select candidates in mid- to late- November.

A decision is expected in January.

“We expect to select the preferred location in January 2021,” Stefanek said. “Colorado Springs, Colorado, remains the location for the provisional headquarters for U.S. Space Command headquarters until a permanent headquarters location is selected and facilities are ready in approximately six years.”

Space Force headquarters is in the Pentagon, as is the case for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, with Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs serving as the provisional home of the command as the search continues.

San Antonio is already home to several major commands. They include the Air Education and Training Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, and Army North, Army South, and the Army’s Installation Management Command, all at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.

©2020 the San Antonio Express-News, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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