Nominations from 26 nations have been collected by the Department of the Air Force. The countries want to host the US Space Command. “We were delighted with the great feedback from across the country,” Ann Stefanek said, the Air Force spokeswoman.
However, the Air Force never disclosed the 26 states which presented their bids. In January 2021, there will be a service plan to select a place for the US Space Command headquarters.
“State governors or city mayor are expected to make announcements as they consider suitable concerning their nomination,” Stefanek said.
On May 15, the Air Force said that there is a likelihood of having an open bidding process to choose a permanent locality of US Space Command headquarters. The states with large military bases that met a checklist of various standards were entitled to contest. The deadline for responses submission was due June 30.
The establishment of the US Space Command was in August 2019 during the military 11th unified combatant command. It is expected that the upcoming headquarters will have more than 1400 military and other civilian staff will work from there. The current command is temporarily situated in Colorado Springs at Peterson Air Force.
The Air Force Department will now put more emphasis on the evaluation phase. “We have no plans for making more selection announcements up to and after the candidate selection, which will take place in November 2020,” Said Stefanek.
Before choosing the ideal locality, the service leaders will make a visit to that country in January 2021. This is to determine if the place is suitable and checking if it meets all the preferred standards.
“After the announcement of the preferred locality, we will carry out the final environmental analysis prior to rendering the last decision,” Said Stefanek. The environmental reviews are expected to take a period of up to 24 months.
The selection procedure will extract enormous scrutiny from lawmakers on Capitol Hill. However, the open bidding process has received some criticisms from various people. One of those who have criticized the bidding process is Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), who is the chairman of the strategic force’s subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. Mr. Jim Cooper said the bidding process is a wastage of resources, terming it as a “moondongle.” However, he did not explain how it is a waste of resources.