COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – More than 600 Colorado leaders, business people and military officials are urging President Donald Trump to keep U.S. Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs permanently. Right now the air base is the temporary home.
Last month, Peterson was selected as one of six finalists for its permanent spot. The other finalists include Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Patrick AFB in Brevard County, Florida; Offutt AFB in Bellevue, Nebraska; Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama; and Joint Base San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas.READ MORE: Denver Public Schools Begins New Year Without School Resource Officers
On Friday those 600 Coloradans, including Gov. Jared Polis, Sen.-elect John Hickenlooper and Sen.s Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, sent an open letter to the president on the matter. It says Colorado is the legacy site and therefore is the past, present, and future of the mission:
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The mission of U.S. Space Command is vital to our national security and way of living. Colorado offers an unparalleled environment that will ensure the operational success of the mission for generations to come. We are home to multiple military installations and major commands, including critical elements of the nascent U.S. Space Force, a thriving aerospace industry consisting of major prime contractors and small businesses, and groundbreaking academic and research institutions. We offer a fully-integrated ecosystem of commercial, academic, and civil space assets that support the mission and offer vital synergies. In fact, Colorado has the second-largest aerospace economy in the country with the highest density of private-sector space employees of any state. Colorado’s unmatched aerospace ecosystem produces unparalleled unity of effort, speed, and agility to guarantee a secure, stable, and accessible space domain.
Colorado provides the existing command structure, base infrastructure, and communications platforms necessary to successfully host additional national security initiatives and ensure coordination of efforts without committing restrictive additional funds. We have spent decades actively and deliberately cultivating the ideal environment necessary to support the mission and its personnel. The cost of attempting to rebuild what Colorado already has will cost significant taxpayer dollars.READ MORE: Death Of Olivia Gant Impetus For New Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Bill
Nestled against the Rocky Mountains with over 300 days of sunshine annually and one of the healthiest and most active states in the nation, we know that Colorado is the ideal location for military members, their families, and space professionals to live, work, and train. According to U.S. News and World Report, Colorado offers four of the five best places to live in the United States, including Colorado Springs. Colorado has all the amenities that will both attract and retain a highly educated, productive military space operations workforce.
Colorado provides an exceptional environment for military veterans and retirees. More than 60,000 military members and their families reside in Colorado and approximately 400,000 veterans call the Centennial State home. We are committed to supporting our military members and their families, both in and out of the uniform. U.S. Space Command, and the space professionals and their families that support the mission, are part of our community. They are our friends, neighbors, and colleagues. We are proud to continue to be their home and hope to keep our community whole.
We the undersigned strongly urge you to keep U.S. Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We are the legacy site and the only permanent home of the mission.
In December 2018, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to create Space Command separate from U.S. Strategic Command, and officially announced the creation of Space Command in August 2019.