COLORADO SPRINGS – The Department of the Air Force on April 4 announced six Space Force bases in Colorado, Florida and California are candidate locations for the headquarters of the U.S. Space Force’s Space Training and Readiness Command. 

The candidates are Los Angeles Air Force Base, California (soon to be renamed Space Force base); Vandenberg Space Force Base, California; Buckley Space Force Base, Colorado; Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado; Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado; and Patrick Space Force Base, Florida.

The training and readiness command, known as STARCOM, is one of three U.S. Space Force field commands, responsible for the professional development, education and training of Space Force guardians, the development of space warfighting doctrine and tactics, and the operational test and evaluation of Space Force systems.  

The Department of the Air Force will begin site surveys in late April or early May to determine which location is best suited. “The assessment will be based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, environmental considerations and cost,” the Air Force said in a statement.

STARCOM is provisionally located at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs until a permanent location is selected.

The command of about 700 people, run by Maj Gen. Shawn Bratton, oversees five operational units known as space deltas that are currently scattered in different locations. STARCOM in December conducted the 13th Space Flag exercise with U.S. and allied forces..

The plan is to bring the STARCOM headquarters and deltas into a more integrated organization, Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, told SpaceNews. The basing process is not about “growing bureaucracy. This is taking people that were spread out across the Air Force and bringing them together into a unified whole that we haven’t had before.”

The Space Force’s two other field commands are Space Operations Command, based at Peterson Space Force Base, and Space Systems Command, headquartered at Los Angeles Air Force Base.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...