COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The City of Colorado Springs was named one of six finalists to become the permanent home for US Space Command. Mayor John Suthers said in a news conference Friday that he believes bringing the new combatant command would be a tremendous boost to the local economy.
"We think it's billions of dollars of an economic shot in the arm," Suthers said.
He explained that the city has a lot to offer. A large percentage of the civilian workforce has the skills and security clearances needed to help grow the space economy here. There's also a premier educational institution here that could be even more attractive to military leaders.
"Think about it folks, the active-duty workforce for the Space Command comes out of the Air Force Academy," the mayor said.
The Department of Defense name Peterson Air Force Base the provisional home for US Space Command in May while a nationwide selection process got underway for a permanent location. That competition is now entering its final stages.
Mayor Suthers explained that the remaining cities will need to complete a few more steps in the weeks ahead.
"Number one is another questionnaire, number two is a site visit, and number three will be a virtual presentation," he said.
In addition to Colorado Springs, the other finalists include Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, Redstone Arsenal in Alabama, Joint Base San Antonio, and Offutt Air Base, Nebraska.
Suthers expects the military to scrutinize the remaining cities to see which will be the best fit for the roughly 1,500 active-duty personnel who would be living here.
"A lot of those community issues, educational opportunities, the educational system, health care system, all that sort of thing," he explained. "The types of non-profit support we give for the community."
City leaders are expected to get additional details from the Air Force next week about their virtual presentations. The mayor anticipates that he and Governor Polis will likely speak with the Air Force's decision-makers during that presentation. A final decision on the permanent location for US Space Command is anticipated in early to mid-January.