CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (FOX 35 Orlando) - There's a turf war underway to land the Space Force.
President Donald Trump’s vision to create a new branch of the military is about to become a reality. Now, the competition is on about where headquarters will be. Experts say Florida and Texas are likely the top contenders, and both governors have sent letters to the president asking for the honor.
When the Air Force was created in 1947, Melbourne was looked at for the Air Force Academy. Colorado Springs won. Now, the Space Force needs a home and Space Coast offers a lot, but we’re not a shoe in.
Texas Gov. Abbott writes, “...there’s no better location than Ellington Airport, near the Johnson Space Center.” Gov. Desantis writes, “Since our first rocket launch at Cape Canaveral in 1950, Florida has served as the launch pad for our country’s achievements in space, with your assistance. We look forward to continuing in that role.”
Brevard County has The Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and Patrick Air Force Base. All of those facilities could serve Space Force.
On the point of the Kennedy Space Center, NASA’s administrator says NASA has never been involved with the Department of Defense, as they are scientists and explorers. He says Space Force is not part of their agenda.
“But you have to remember, all of the Mercury astronauts were military test pilots, and in the glory days of Gemini and Apollo, practically everyone who went into space was Air Force or Navy or possibly a Marine Corps officer,” said Bob Taylor.
Taylor teaches military history and the history of space at Florida Tech. He says regardless of where the headquarters lands, the mission of Space Force will be critically important.
“The wars of the future will be fought in space, our satellites are hugely important to our economy, to our infrastructure and our military as well, communications reconnaissance, so the first thing you would do in a future conflict would be to blind your enemy’s space vision,” Taylor said.
The Space Force is set to be the sixth military branch for America -- the first in 72 years -- and the DOD seeks $72 million to build its HQ. No word on when the decision will come about where it will be.