ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska’s governor and the mayor of Anchorage asked the U.S. Air Force to consider the city as the location for the permanent headquarters of the new U.S. Space Command.
Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Democratic Mayor Ethan Berkowitz made the joint request in a June 10 letter to U.S. Air Force Assistant Secretary John Henderson, The Anchorage Daily News reported Saturday.
President Donald Trump authorized creation of the Space Command by the Pentagon in a December 2018 memorandum. Space Command’s role is to conduct operations such as enabling satellite-based navigation and communications for troops and commanders in the field and providing warning of missile launches abroad.
The Department of Defense announced a search for a permanent headquarters in May, with a selection expected in 2021. The command is currently located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Dunleavy and Berkowitz said they believe Anchorage meets all minimum eligibility requirements and would earn a competitive score in the evaluation process.
The pair offered to work with the Air Force secretary’s team in the coming months.
Mark Lester, president of Alaska Aerospace Corp., is named as a contact for the military. The state agency provides launch services at the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Kodiak Island.
A post on Dunleavy’s Facebook page Friday noted the existing Air Force and U.S. Army presence on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, touting the facility as having “a vibrant military and veteran community, strategic geopolitical location, tremendous venues for training” where the Alaska Aerospace Corporation is available for collaboration with the military.