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Vandenberg is in the running to be Space Force’s training and development headquarters

SpaceX Hangar at Vandenberg AFB (Steve Jurvetson/WikiCommons)

Vandenberg Space Force Base is in the running to be headquarters of U.S. Space Force’s Space Training and Readiness Command — a decision that would make the Central Coast a high-profile name in the space game.

The Department of the Air Force announced Tuesday it has selected six candidates for STARCOM headquarters. Vandenberg is one of only two potential spots in California being considered, the other being Los Angeles Air Force Base.

Vandenberg is already home to Delta 1, STARCOM’s training offshoot.

The other locations on the list include three Colorado bases — Buckley Space Force Base, Schriever Space Force Base and Peterson Space Force Base — and Patrick Space Force Base in Florida.

According to a new release, STARCOM, one of three U.S. Space Force field commands, is responsible for the “deliberate development, education and training of space professionals; development of space warfighting doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures; and the operational test and evaluation of USSF systems.”

The Department of the Air Force is expected begin site surveys in late April or early May to decide which location would be the best fit for the headquarters. That determination will be made based on mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, environmental considerations and cost, according to the release.

Melissa James, CEO of the Central Coast economic development group REACH, applauded the announcement Tuesday, saying the Lompoc-area base would be a good selection for the headquarters.

“Vandenberg is already home to the Space Force training mission, Delta 1, and it has room to grow, with infrastructure upgrades in the works and a broad coalition of support for building on its mission,” she said in a statement. “The region has really come together around growing commercial space and hosting this high-profile Space Force field command would create a new center of gravity in the Central Coast space ecosystem and catalyst for public and private investment.”

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