WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) and Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) are spearheading an effort to promote Peoria, Arizona as the permanent home for the U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) headquarters. On June 24th, the City of Peoria submitted their self-nomination letter with Governor Ducey’s endorsement to the Department of the Air Force.
“Space is a primary domain for a 21st century military. I have been proud to work with President Trump to push our National Defense Strategy back towards the realm of great power competition, recognizing the frontiers that require U.S. mastery for our national security. Arizona has a proud history and well-developed infrastructure which has contributed greatly to our nation’s pursuit of advanced space flight through a favorable climate, an extensive presence of aerospace and defense industry, and several Arizona academic institutions that greatly contribute to our nation’s space program. Arizona has been at the forefront of the United States’ development and superiority of air and space. As our country prepares for the next challenge, it only makes sense that Space Force leverage our existing infrastructure and patriotism for its permanent headquarters,” said Congressman Gosar.
“My hometown of Peoria, Arizona, located in the heart of my congressional district, would be the perfect location for the headquarters of the United States Space Force Command. Based on the criteria released by the Department of the Air Force earlier this year, Peoria meets all requirements for command headquarters. My district is already home to Luke Air Force Base and our community is proud of the support we provide to our outstanding air men and women. We would love to welcome the Space Force to our district,” said Congresswoman Lesko.
The text of the letter can be found HERE.
In 2018, President Trump and the Administration released its National Defense Strategy which acknowledged that American focus on combatting global terrorism neglected nation-based threats and the capabilities to address such threats. Great power competition is a reality of the 21st century, where the U.S. must posture against, counter, and deter foreign aggressors such as China and Russia, two nations with developed space programs and the ability make it an advanced frontier of competition. As a domain now strategically important in protecting American national security, President Trump in 2018 stated his intention to create a 6th branch of the Armed Services within the Air Force, established and designated as the U.S. Space Force in 2019.
USSPACECOM is temporarily based out of Colorado Spring, Colorado. However, on May 15th, the Department of the Air Force began allowing eligible communities to self-nominate to serve as the host for this critical mission. Those cities submitting applications must meet a series of criteria, such as relative location to a military base as well as certain living standards and population sizes to accommodate the infrastructure and personnel.
Arizona is the natural home for USSPACECOM. Over 1,200 Arizona-based companies make Arizona the third-largest supply chain contributor for aerospace and defense and the second-largest employer in space and defense systems manufacturing. Four Arizona academic institutions already work with NASA and the NASA Space Grant Program. Since the Cold War, Arizona has been at the forefront of American national security, contributing to our command of air and space. Arizona has the infrastructure and base to quickly establish and support the permanent home for USSPACECOM.