The Air Force Department announced on Tuesday that the Vandenberg Space Force base is among the six candidates for the permanent location of STARCOM headquarters.
STARCOM stands for Space Training and Readiness Command and is currently temporarily based at Peterson Space Force in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
STARCOM is one of three space force command centers.
The new headquarters will be responsible for training space specialists, developing space combat doctrine and testing space force systems.
Representative Salud Karbahal supported the application of the Vandenberg Space Force base to become the permanent headquarters of STARCOM.
“In search of a permanent place to command space training and readiness, Vandenberg has already demonstrated his ability to train space operators and maintain a critical test site,” he said in a press release. “And besides, its proximity to some of the best research institutions in our country and the aerospace industry make it the best candidate for STARCOM.”
In 2020, Carbahal signed a letter in support of the fact that the VSFB would become the headquarters of STARCOM along with the then Sen. Kamala Harris and Senator Diane Feinstein.
In addition to political support, a growing group of local organizations demanded that the base become a new headquarters.
The Regional Coalition for Economic Action (REACH), a local economic advocacy organization, is campaigning for VSFB to become STARCOM headquarters from the start of the search.
Melissa James, President / CEO of REACH, said in a statement Tuesday that the organization is eager to show what it can offer the Central Coast.
“The region has really come together around a growing commercial space, and the deployment of this high-ranking space force field team will create a new center of gravity in the Central Coast space ecosystem and become a catalyst for public and private investment,” James said.
The Air Force Department has not set a deadline for a formal decision, but a survey of seats for the six candidates will begin in late April or early May.
Surveys will assess each facility’s ability to meet a number of requirements related to mission, cost, infrastructure capacity, community support, and environmental friendliness.
Other bases under consideration are the Los Angeles Air Force Base in California, Buckley SFB in Colorado, Shriver SFB in Colorado, Peterson SFB in Colorado and Patrick SFB in Florida.
The Air Force has called the VSFB a candidate at STARCOM headquarters