U.S. Space Force to Boost Central Coast Economy with Vandenberg AFB Launches

Vandenberg Air Force Base - Courtesy Clark Construction

Vandenberg Air Force Base has been designated the new hub for the United States Space Force, as various leaders from the state, the 30th Space Wing and representatives from Cal Poly State University draw up a far reaching master plan.

The plans for Vandenberg’s role in the U.S. Space Force provide a roadmap for the future of integrating the latest branch of the military into Central California with regards to infrastructure, governance, human capital development, and financing.

The local region is expected to reap a windfall of benefits from the creation of the Space Force and its implementation in the Central California-San Luis Obispo region.

“Space is critical to national security, and the National Defense Strategy provides a very clear direction to restore our competitive edge in the re-emerging power competition to maintain space superiority,” said Col. Anthony Mastalir, Commander of the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base. “We rely on robust collaboration with our industry partners not only to provide assured access to space but also to maximize our range capacity and move forward into the range of the future.”

Melissa James, CEO of REACH, an economic impact organization for the Central Coast said she expects the new Space Force work to provide a number of jobs in the area.

“The potential for the commercial space industry to provide significant jobs and economic impact to not only the Central Coast, but the entire state of California, make it worth pursuing aggressively,” she said. “Through diverse partnerships and collaboration, we will ensure the Central Coast of California is the launchpad for the next frontier of commercial space.”

Additionally, space activities could support a broader range of supporting companies and employment and startup opportunities from manufacturing and launch to maintenance and support which enable human spaceflight in California.

A memorandum of understanding was agreed upon by James of REACH, Chris Dombrowski, acting director for The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, Mastalir of the 30th Space Wing, Jeffrey Armstrong, president of Cal Poly SLO, and Josh Nisbet, managing director of Deloitte Touche Consulting.

Read the MOU here.