Edited by SCOTT RATHMAN
The United States Air Force is evaluating Palmdale to host the future permanent headquarters for the United States Space Command, officials said.
“Los Angeles County has greatly contributed to the advancement of the aerospace industry and space exploration through many institutions such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Edwards AFB, Los Angeles AFB, NASA facilities, JPL, Cal Tech, and United States Air Force Plant 42, which have endeavored to support aerospace efforts,” Kathryn Barger, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, formally submitted the city’s nomination. In particular the Antelope Valley and the City of Palmdale have a long and impressive history of advancing a peaceful, secure, and accessible space domain.”
The evaluation process rates communities based on how they relate to the mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, and overall costs to the Air Force, said Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita.
He said the Antelope Valley has been referred to as the Aerospace Valley because of its history in aerospace and space innovation.
“It is the home of generations of test pilots breaking the sound barrier, astronauts testing the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle, and commercial aerospace companies testing privately-owned spacecraft,” he said. “Palmdale, with its vast geography to expand upon, its talented workforce, existing industry expertise and its direct access to other major nodes in the space mission is the most logical choice for the permanent headquarters for the United States Space Command. I am confident that the Department of the Air Force and the Department of Defense will come to the right conclusion regarding the future home of the United States Space Force.”
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, and Brigadier Gen. Matthew W. Higer, commander of the 412th Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base also support Palmdale’s bid for Space Force headquarters.
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.
USAF officials said they anticipate a decision on the permanent location by early 2021.