Space force

Kirtland named finalist for Space Force website

Albuquerque’s Kirtland Air Force Base is one of four military bases in New Mexico and was just named a finalist to host the US Space Force. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico is vying to house two parts of the headquarters of the US Space Force’s Space and Training Readiness Command, or STARCOM.

The US Air Force announced this week that Kirtland Air Force Base is a finalist to house two of the five Space Deltas — which are essentially a specific mission or area of ​​interest — that will form STARCOM. Both Kirtland and Schriever Space Force Base in Colorado are being considered for delta Range and Aggressor and delta Test and Evaluation, according to the Air Force.

The military branch said in a press release that Kirtland and Schriver have existing infrastructure that could support testing, training and exercise activities in close proximity to stakeholders and aggressors.

Schriever, along with five other Space Force bases across the country, is also a finalist to be home to STARCOM. Kirtland is not on this list.

Several Democrats from New Mexico’s congressional delegation congratulated Kirtland on being named a finalist.

“New Mexico is the future of space. We are home to an ideal climate, leading public and private space innovators, and an exceptional training pipeline for the growing science and engineering workforce,” Sen. Martin Heinrich said in a statement, “Kirtland Air Force Base has also built an exceptional track record in supporting training missions, and testing and evaluating important space capabilities.”

Heinrich is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees funding for military construction.

Kirtland is already home to the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicle Branch and other space-related projects. The state is also home to White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico and the two National Laboratories, which have also attracted various companies to provide industry support services.

Senator Ben Ray Luján noted that KAFB has a long history of expertise in space technology.

“New Mexico is at the forefront of science, research, technology, and safety, and Albuquerque’s endless skies, outdoor access, and amazing communities provide a welcoming home to STARCOM, which would bring additional economic development to a community well positioned to further support the work of Space Force,” Rep. Melanie Stansbury said in a statement. “I look forward to supporting Kirtland Air Force Base as that Space Force continues the selection process.”