Colorado Congressional Delegation, Governor Urge Department of Defense to Headquarter U.S. Space Command in Colorado

March 8, 2019

The entire Colorado Congressional Delegation and Governor Jared Polis joined together today to urge the U.S. Department of Defense to reestablish U.S. Space Command in Colorado and to use Colorado’s existing space missions and assets to address emerging and transforming threats in space. In a letter to acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, the leaders tout Colorado’s significant role in national security space, its strong aerospace industry, and its existing infrastructure as the ideal foundation on which to reestablish U.S. Space Command.

“As the epicenter of national security space, Colorado is the prime location to house national efforts to ensure continued U.S. technological superiority, global leadership, and capabilities in space. For these reasons, it is in the nation’s best interests to base U.S. Space Command in Colorado,” wrote the leaders.

The letter continued, “By reestablishing Space Command in Colorado--as it was from 1985 to 2002--the Department will capitalize on Colorado’s existing military and intelligence missions and infrastructure to swiftly and comprehensively ensure space superiority over actors like Russia and China.”

The leaders also invited Acting Secretary Shanahan to visit Colorado.

“As Congress awaits proposals from the Administration, we are confident building on the existing missions and assets in Colorado will be key to any effective reorganization effort. As bipartisan members of the delegation, we invite you to visit Colorado to see the unmatched potential our state has to offer as the nexus of national security space, industry, workforce, and innovation,” wrote the leaders.

In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, which became law in August 2018, Congress directed the Department of Defense to establish U.S. Space Command under U.S. Strategic Command. In December 2018, President Trump signed an executive order to create U.S. Space Command separate from U.S. Strategic Command.

The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner; Governor Jared Polis; and U.S. Reps. Doug Lamborn, Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter, Scott Tipton, Ken Buck, Jason Crow and Joe Neguse.

 A copy of the letter is available below.

 

March 7, 2019

 

The Honorable Patrick Shanahan

Acting Secretary of Defense

1000 Defense Pentagon

Washington, DC 20301-1000

 

Dear Acting Secretary Shanahan:

As the bipartisan Colorado delegation, we urge you to reestablish U.S. Space Command in Colorado and to use Colorado’s existing space missions and assets as the foundation for a renewed and coordinated national effort to address emerging and transforming threats in space. As the epicenter of national security space, Colorado is the prime location to house national efforts to ensure continued U.S. technological superiority, global leadership, and capabilities in space.  For these reasons, it is in the nation’s best interests to base U.S. Space Command in Colorado.

Efforts to enhance U.S. identification, deterrence, and reaction to space threats must capitalize on areas of overlapping capacity, and capabilities. As home to Air Force Space Command, 50th Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base (AFB), 460th Space Wing at Buckley AFB, 21st Space Wing at Schriever AFB, U.S. Northern Command, and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), Colorado is already the center of military space. Colorado is also home to Department of Defense and Intelligence Community integration efforts at the National Space Defense Center, and to the United States Air Force Academy. Additionally, Colorado has the infrastructure and communications platforms necessary to support additional sensitive national security space responsibilities. By reestablishing Space Command in Colorado--as it was from 1985 to 2002--the Department will capitalize on Colorado’s existing military and intelligence missions and infrastructure to swiftly and comprehensively ensure space superiority over actors like Russia and China.

The support in Colorado’s communities for national defense and intelligence space missions is second to none. Our state ranks first in the nation in its concentration of aerospace jobs, with 27,190 aerospace jobs in the private sector and 28,140 military personnel working directly on space. With a payroll of over $3.5 billion, Colorado also has the nation’s largest aerospace economy on a per capita basis. Colorado’s space enterprise also has strong partnerships with leading institutions of higher education throughout the state, such as the University of Colorado – Boulder, which has a top-ranked aerospace engineering program. Together, Colorado’s depth of workforce talent, innovation in industry, institutions of higher education, national labs, and unparalleled quality of life provides a supportive and innovative ecosystem for U.S. Space Command.

As Congress awaits proposals from the Administration, we are confident building on the existing missions and assets in Colorado will be key to any effective reorganization effort. As bipartisan members of the delegation, we invite you to visit Colorado to see the unmatched potential our state has to offer as the nexus of national security space, industry, workforce, and innovation.