The U.S. Space Command is still in its infancy, but Representatives Jim Banks (R-03) and Jackie Walorski (R-02) think Grissom Air Reserve Base should be considered as a possible location for its headquarters.
The lawmakers sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett asking her to look at the base near Bunker Hill as a viable option.
The Air Force is expected to choose a permanent site for Space Command HQ in early 2021, and bring with it approximately 1,400 jobs.
Banks, who serves northeast Indiana, and Walorski, who serves north central Indiana, think the state’s growing defense, innovation, and technology sectors, as well as Grissom’s proximity to highly rated STEM universities, makes it an ideal location.
“Indiana has an established defense innovation base, superior educational institutions and a low cost of living; our state is innovative, primed for growth and I’m glad it isn’t being overlooked,” said the co-signed letter.
The lawmakers mentioned Governor Eric Holcomb’s 2020 State of the State address in which he committed to tripling Indiana’s federal defense investments.
They said another big benefit is the available space for expansion on the property and its 1,250-foot runway “previously designated as an alternative landing location for space missions.” The base currently serves as home to the 434th Air Refueling Wing and a number of KC-135 Stratotankers used to refuel military aircraft in mid-flight.
Last August, President Trump activated the U.S. Space Command, which will serve as a centralized authority for the U.S. military’s role in space.
The new command and headquarters is expected to become fully operational in about six years.
As defense investment continues to grow, a U.S. Space Command at Grissom Air Force Base will benefit from an increasingly vibrant national security ecosystem.