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US Space Command to call Peterson Air Force Base home

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Posted at 10:10 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 09:55:26-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs will be the headquarters of the military's newest fighting force for at least the next six years. Sen. Cory Gardner broke the news with a tweet that U.S. Space Command will stand up a provisional combatant command at Peterson Air Force Base.

"This means that Colorado will play an even more important role in our national security and our space security operations and programs," Gardner said in the video.

Gov. Jared Polis also celebrated the announcement.

"This is great news for our state and I will continue urging the president and the Air Force to make Colorado the permanent home of U.S. Space Command," the governor said in a news release.

The announcement came just a few hours after President Donald Trump and General John W. "Jay" Raymond, the Chief of Space Operations for the United States Space Force, unfurled the new Space Force Flag in an Oval Office ceremony.

Reggie Ash, the chief defense development officer for the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC, said the new command will bring a big boost to the local economy.

"Headquarters of US Space Command is going to stand up 1,400 jobs here in Colorado Springs and as they stand that up, that's something that will help us with our economic recovery coming out of this COVID recession," Ash said.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers pointed out the presence of Space Command in southern Colorado will likely attract additional jobs here in the private sector.

"Defense contractors, they're not going to wait around for six years," Suthers said. "They're going to come here, if they're not already here, most of them are already here, and they're going to establish a presence in Colorado Springs."

Colorado Springs is still competing with other communities to become the command's permanent home. The Air Force plans to make a final decision in January.

However, Ash said the selection criteria announced Friday by the Air Force is already generating excitement.

"I get very excited when I look at that because all of that criteria in terms of mission and infrastructure and cost and community support, I know that Colorado Springs and really the whole State of Colorado, we just knock it out of the park in all of those categories," he said.