WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) and Congressman Ken Calvert (R-CA), Co-Chairs of the bipartisan California Aerospace Caucus, led a letter to U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall III calling for the U.S. Space Force’s (USSF) Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM) permanent headquarters to be located at either the Los Angeles Air Force Base or the Vandenberg Space Force Base, both of which are in California. In the letter, the Members argue that California’s existing space ecosystems, combined with its leading cutting-edge research and innovation network, make the state the perfect choice for the new command headquarters. The letter was signed by 26 Members of the California Aerospace Caucus.
In the letter, the Members write:
Dear Secretary Kendall,
Thank you for your service. As members of the bipartisan California Aerospace Caucus, we write to thank you for considering Los Angeles Air Force Base (LA AFB) and Vandenberg Space Force Base (SFB) as candidate locations for the U.S. Space Force’s (USSF) Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM) permanent headquarters (HQ). California offers tremendous advantages for being the permanent STARCOM HQ, and we encourage you to fully leverage the state’s dynamic space and aerospace ecosystem by locating STARCOM HQ at either one of these California bases.
As one of three USSF field commands, STARCOM is responsible for the deliberate development, education, and training of space professionals; development of space warfighting doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures; and the operational test and evaluation of the force’s systems. Its mission is to prepare the USSF to prevail in competition and conflict through innovative education, training, doctrine, and test activities. As the Department of the Air Force (DAF) announced on April 4, LA AFB and Vandenberg SFB are among the six candidate locations for STARCOM HQ, with site surveys beginning in April and May.
The DAF’s assessment of locations will be based on factors including mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, and cost. We are proud that California is home to one of the most exciting and innovative space ecosystems in the world. The establishment of Space Systems Command at LA AFB last year and the critical space-related missions and assets at Vandenberg SFB reflect the state’s long history of driving innovation and supporting our national efforts in space. Coupled with outstanding research universities, unrivaled federally-funded research and development centers, leading aerospace companies and startups, and world-class talent, we have the utmost confidence that either California base would be a perfect choice for this new command headquarters.
With increasing challenges in space, including from our near-peer competitors, it is essential that the USSF capitalizes on the high-quality space equities and ecosystems our nation already has at its disposal. As the DAF reviews candidate locations for STARCOM HQ, we strongly encourage you to select one of these premier California bases.
Thank you for your attention to this critical issue. We look forward to working with you to support and advance U.S. capabilities in space.
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