Space Command

Lt. Gen. Stephen N. Whiting, first commander of the newly re-designated Space Operations Command, receives his first salute as commander from the Space Delta and Garrison commanders and senior enlisted advisors during a ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct 21, 2020.

The United States Air Force announced Nov. 19 that Colorado Springs is one of six finalist cities for the newly created U.S. Space Command. Forty cities had entered proposals.

The command calls Peterson Air Force Base its temporary home pending a decision on a permanent placement due in early 2021.

The other cities being considered are Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; Offut Air Force Base, Omaha, Neb.; Huntsville, Alabama; Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Cape Canaveral in Florida.

The Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC convened working groups made up of leaders from the city of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, the chamber’s Military Affairs Council, and the broader business and defense communities to create a package to support Colorado Springs as Space Command's permanent home.

According to govtech.com, the most recent figures of "projected manpower" for the command are 1,450 people, including 390 military officers, 183 enlisted personnel, 827 civilians and 50 contractors.

“Colorado Springs is without question the ideal location to serve as the permanent home of U.S. Space Command considering our incredible quality of life, five military installations, significant existing talent base, and experience as a community that has long supported the U.S. Armed Forces," Mayor John Suthers said in a news release. "Along with these assets, we also already have the infrastructure to house this operation, and much of USSPACECOM’s future leadership will be trained right here at the U.S. Air Force Academy. I commend the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC on its tireless work in continuing this bid process, and look forward to the announcement in January."

Reggie Ash, the chamber's chief defense development officer, called Colorado Springs "the center of gravity" of national security in space.

On May 15, Peterson Air Force Base was notified that it would remain the provisional headquarters of Space Command for at least six years. The command, wherever it ends up, will include funding for a new headquarters building that would add between $500 million and $1 billion in military construction investment.

The local effort included retaining consulting services with three agencies that advise strategies and execute tactics. The agencies are Development Counselors International, American Continental Group and The Trailblazer Group.

The U.S. Air Force is expected to announce details of the next steps in the process early next week.

Senior Reporter

Pam Zubeck is a graduate from Emporia State University. She worked at the Tulsa Tribune before coming to Colorado Springs, where she spent 16 years at the Gazette and in 2009 joined Colorado Publishing House.