by: The Associated Press, WESH 2 News
Posted: Nov 20, 2020 / 01:55 PM EST/ Updated: Nov 20, 2020 / 01:55 PM EST
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP/WESH) — After first being shunned, Florida is a finalist to be the home of the U.S. Space Command headquarters.
The U.S. Air Force announced its finalists Thursday and included Florida in its list of six. Patrick Air Force Base, along the state’s Space Coast, is in the running.
The other finalists include Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Offutt AFB in Bellevue, Nebraska; Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama; and Joint Base San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas.
The Air Force initially announced six other finalists in 2019, and Florida wasn’t on the list. But the selection process was restarted after complaints that the initial phase wasn’t transparent enough.
U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz said Florida is well equipped to host the headquarters, given its history with NASA and private space companies.
The Space Force was created in 2019 when President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law. It’s the first new service since the U.S. Air Force came into being in 1947.