VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - The Department of the Air Force will be selecting the permanent headquarters for the new United States Space Command in early 2021. One location that we now know is no longer in the running: Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The Air Force and the Office of the Secretary of Defense announced the selection of six candidate locations for the new headquarters on Monday.
Local leaders made their pitch for Vandenberg to be chosen as the Space Command's new home earlier this year. Vandenberg Air Force Base is currently home to a Combined Space Operations Center where U.S. and allied personnel track objects and activities in space. Ultimately, the United States Air Force decided to pursue other locations.
The candidate locations are: Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, Port San Antonio in Texas, and Redstone Army Airfield in Alabama.
Locations from 24 states were considered as part of the search.
The Department of the Air Force evaluated each location and is now in the process of conducting virtual and on-site visits. The final decision will be made based off multiple factors including infrastructure, community support and overall cost.
Peterson Air Force Base is currently being used as the provisional location of the headquarters.
When Space Command is fully operational and the permanent site is established, it will be home to 1,500 personnel. That build-out is expected to take about six years.