Vice President Pence speaks at Vandenberg Air Force Base

Also tours Combined Space Operations Center

Vice President Pence speaks at Vandenberg Air Force Base

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence visited the Central Coast Wednesday.

Air Force Two touched down at Vandenberg Air Force Base after 5 p.m. 

They were welcomed by base personnel, local politicians, and invited guests.

He then got a briefing from base leadership on Vandenberg Space Operations.

The Vice President then toured the Combined Space Operations Center. The facility acts as the hub of U.S. Military Space Partnerships with international allies.

Afterwards, the Vice President spoke to hundreds of guests.

"I talked to the President on Air Force Two when we were just a little bit before wheels down at Vandenberg and he wanted me to tell you how proud he is of all of you and the work that you do here at this vital Air Force Base and the role that you play in our national defense", said Mr. Pence.

He also pointed out the role Vandenberg plays in the emerging commercial space industry.

"The President puts it fairly plainly. We want to see the private space industry grow, because, as he said, rich guys love rockets and we're going to let them build them and we're going to let them fly them and they're going to fly out of Vandenberg Air Force Base," said the Vice President.

He also emphasized the importance of forming the U.S. Space Force, which would become the sixth branch of the military if it's successful.

"Our nation's armed forces have always been a vanguard of advancing American leadership beyond the bounds of earth and the Space Force, we believe, is next and natural evolution of American military supremacy, so get ready folks, the United States Space Force is going to be here before you know it," said Vice President Pence.

The visit comes as Vandenberg is being considered to become the headquarters for the recently re-established U.S. Space command that would oversee and control U.S. Space assets.

Five other bases across the country are also finalists.

The Vice President said, "We're laying a foundation to ensure all of you that are charged with securing this nation in the heavens above have the resources and command structure to be able to support the mission."

A decision is expected in the near future.

Before he left, Mr. Pence had one last message for the base, "Keep up the good work."

The Vice President and Second Lady also visited Naval Air Station Lemoore.

After his speech at Vandenberg, they departed for San Diego.

Watch the Vice President's speech here:

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