AURORA | The bad news: There’s still no confirmation on whether the U.S. Space Command will find a home in Aurora at Buckley Air Force Base.
The good news: Former Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson did respond to a letter from Aurora Congressman Jason Crow that laid out a case for Buckley.
“The Air Force is using its strategic basing process to determine the locations for United States Space Command,” Wilson said. “The process uses a criteria-based analysis to identify locations best suited to support any given mission.”
The letter hinted that decision would be made possibly this summer, but which bases are still in consideration for the command center is unknown. A memo obtained by CNN early this year showed Colorado’s Buckley, Peterson, Cheyenne Mountain and Schriever Air Force bases are feasible options.
“This is a highly competitive process and the most important thing we can do right now is to continue to make our case for Buckley Air Force Base as the next home for Space Command,” Crow told the Sentinel in a statement. “I was encouraged to receive such a prompt response and look forward to working with the next Air Force Secretary on this as well. Space Command would be an incredible boon for job growth and I’m going to do everything in my power to push for Space Command and further solidify Colorado’s leadership in global aerospace.”
Crow and local leaders have been pressing hard for the mission, highlighting the aerospace expertise in the Denver metro region, education programs and infrastructure.
Aurora Chamber President Kevin Hougen has been doggedly meeting with Air Force and other officials singing the praises of Aurora and Buckley.
“Buckley AFB is a critical Air Force asset in a thriving community that is already home to advanced space assets and hundreds of space-oriented businesses large and small,” Crow said in the letter. “We have been performing the space mission for over 30 years. We are ready to continue leading space into the future and would welcome USSPACECOM openly.”
A bustling aerospace industry already exists around Buckley. In his letter, Crow highlighted the existing Aerospace Data Facility at Buckley — it employs some 4,000 professionals, 850 of which are NSA personnel.
— KARA MASON, Staff Writer