00:39 GMT22 April 2021
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    The US Air Force has reportedly identified six military bases that could house the US Defense Department’s newest combatant command, the US Space Command, according to an Air Force memorandum obtained by CNN.

    US Air Force officials are currently considering four locations in Colorado, namely the Buckley Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Peterson Air Force Base and Schriever Air Force Base. The Army's Redstone Arsenal in Alabama and the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California are also contenders. 

    The memo also noted that the expected manpower for the US Space Command is 390 military officers, 183 enlisted personnel, 827 civilians and 50 contractors.

    Defense Department confirmed that some bases have been identified as potential Space Command locations, but said no decisions have yet been made, Military.com reported.

    "I don't think there's any single base that is 100% a good fit," Brian Weeden, director or program planning and technical adviser for national and international space security for the Secure World Foundation, told Military.com on Monday. "But there are a couple that make more sense than the others," he added, noting that other than the Peterson Air Force Base, the Schriever Air Force Base "is where most of the command and control for military satellites is done from."

    In addition, it is unknown whether current Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson will make the decision regarding the location of the base, since she is expected to resign from her position on May 31 to become the next president of the University of Texas at El Paso. A successor for Air Force secretary has not yet been declared.

    In December, US President Donald Trump established the Space Command, which is to become a new branch within the Pentagon. 

    "Pursuant to my authority as the Commander in Chief and under section 161 of title 10, United States Code, and in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I direct the establishment, consistent with United States law, of United States Space Command as a functional unified combatant command," Trump said in a memo to then-Defense Secretary Defense Jim Mattis.

    The creation of the new command is seen as a step towards developing a new US military branch, the "Space Force," separate from the unified combatant command.

    Following Trump's announcement, Republican Reps. Michael Waltz and Bill Posey, members of the House Armed Services Committee, and 11 other Florida lawmakers sent a letter to Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, requesting that the Space Command be located in Florida


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