17:34 GMT06 August 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Air Force is preparing to expand facilities for its space rapid response military operations at a base in the state of New Mexico, two senators said in a press release on Thursday.

    "Today, US Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that the US Air Force has submitted a three phase plan to construct secure workspace at Kirk that will support the expanded mission of the Space Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO)", the release from Senator Martin Heinrich's office said.

    According to the plan, the Air Force will establish provisional workspaces at the installation to function as a secure compartmentalized information facility (SCF), the release explained.

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    The expanded facilities will "increase cooperation and collaboration with the commercial space sector, ultimately improving our rapid launch capabilities and growing New Mexico's space economy," Udall said in the release.

    Moreover, the expanded facilities would allow the Space RCO to carry out additional critical space missions, Heinrich said.

    Last year, President Donald Trump issued a memorandum ordering the Pentagon to establish a US Space Command as a unified combatant command. Vice President Mike Pence has said that the US Space Command will integrate space capabilities across all branches of the military.

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    In January, Trump unveiled the 2019 US Missile Defense Review (MDR), a strategy that calls for boosting land- and sea-based missile defense systems in Europe and the Middle East along with studying the development of space-based interceptors.


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    capabilities, military base, increase, space, US Air Force, New Mexico, United States
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