LOMPOC, Calif. - Vandenberg Air Force Base is being discussed as a potential location to house the military’s newest combatant command, US Space Command, along with five other bases in Colorado and Alabama.
While the Air Force is not disputing the list of bases, we’re told the draft memo noting the basing candidates has not yet made its way to leadership for a decision.
This is not President Trump’s proposed Space Force, which would create a 6th branch of the military. Instead of space forces falling under US Strategic Command, US Space Command would now have operational command and control of space assets.
The six finalist locations are said to be Buckley Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Peterson Air Force Base, and Schriever Air Force Base - all in Colorado. The Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Alabama and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California are also said to be on the list.
“It’s rumors it’s potential, it’s no formal introduction of these are...” said Jenelle Osborne, Mayor, City of Lompoc.
Lompoc’s Mayor says there hasn’t been any formal notification or interaction between city and Air Force officials regarding Space Comand and Vandenberg Air Force Base.
“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to be a part of the discussion, be supportive of it and potentially be the location for it but at the same time, waiting for actual details and reality to the situation,” said Osborne.
Osborne says with 99,000 acres out at Vandenberg and room for growth, the idea that we could be a potential finalist is very strong. “We are prepared to support that. Our wastewater treatment facility has been built out for a much larger population. Same with our water system, so we can handle a boom in population and we would love to support that,” she said.
There is a formal process that has to take place to determine U.S. Space Command’s new home. These cities will vie for the chance to woo Air Force officials, essentially selling how this influx of additional well-paying jobs would benefit the community.
“Economic development is always better when it’s built off of an increase in population, an increase in better-paying jobs, an increase in those shopping in the community, living in the community,” said Osborne.
With that comes a big demand for housing.
“All the homes that are on the books not being built, motivate those builders and developers to actually break ground, actually build up the homes,” said Osborne.
Regardless of what happens, Osborne says Vandenberg will still be a strong component of Space Command based on the base’s role in our current space program.
“We look to be supportive of the base and want to grow with it and be supportive of it,” said Osborne.
You may remember, Lompoc was bracing for a big boom when they were building up the Space Shuttle program but after the Challenger tragedy, they canceled those plans.
The memo we’re getting this information from states that “the projected manpower” for United States Space Command is 1,450 personnel, including 390 military officers, 183 enlisted personnel, 827 civilians and 50 contractors.