Author Topic: DeSantis backs proposals for Space Force headquarters, including in Jacksonville  (Read 394 times)

marcuscnelson

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In the running are Jacksonville, Pensacola, Brevard County, Miami-Dade County, Orange County, Pinellas County, Seminole County and a joint proposal from Tampa and Hillsborough County.

https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20200702/desantis-backs-proposals-for-space-force-headquarters-including-in-jacksonville

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TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis has endorsed six Florida counties and three cities, including Jacksonville, that hope to land the command headquarters of the U.S. Space Force.

In a letter Monday to Air Force Assistant Secretary John Henderson, DeSantis supported the proposals by Jacksonville, Pensacola, Brevard County, Miami-Dade County, Orange County, Pinellas County, Seminole County and a joint proposal from Tampa and Hillsborough County.

"Our state has a long history of support for our nation's effort in space through the operations of the Kennedy Space Center, the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station," DeSantis wrote in the letter released late Wednesday by his office. "These installations provide great support to our national defense and provide a significant economic impact to our state. Equally important as our military installations, is Florida's robust commercial space industry."

The deadline to apply with the governor's endorsement was Tuesday.

President Donald Trump in December signed a law that created the Space Force as a separate branch of the military.

In May, Henderson outlined criteria for communities that want to be considered for the Space Force headquarters, including being located within 25 miles of a military installation, being among the top 150 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the U.S. and scoring a 50 or higher out of 100 on the American Association of Retired Persons Public Policy Institute's Livability Index.

Final selection is expected in early 2021. Henderson wrote that each nominee will be graded on a series of issues including the local workforce, infrastructure, community support for military families and local construction costs.

In a nomination cover letter that included DeSantis' signature, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Les Miller touted being home to MacDill Air Force Base, Central Command and Special Operations Command.

"Tampa is also home to nearly 100,000 veterans, as well as those serving members who will soon transition out of military service and be prepared to move into defense industry jobs," Castor and Miller wrote. "Tampa boasts a large concentration of defense and security industry businesses that are prepared to support United State Space Command."

Brevard County Commission Chairman Bryan Lober used his cover letter to point to a 70-year partnership between the local government and the U.S. Air Force, as well as being home to the 45th Space Wing.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings pointed, in part, to "our universities and educational institutions."

The command headquarters applications followed DeSantis signing a bill (HB 717) on Saturday that would let Space Florida, the state's public-private aerospace arm, bypass the need for approval by the governor and the Cabinet to issue revenue bonds or any other type of debt, including bank loans.

The proposal also would repeal a requirement that Space Florida advise House and Senate leaders before presenting bond proposals to the governor and Cabinet.

Senate bill sponsor Tom Wright, a New Smyrna Beach Republican who chairs the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs and Space Committee, said streamlining the bonding process will create "a more competitive marketplace within the space industry."

"As shown in the last few years, the space industry has evolved into a commercial-driven initiative, bound to accomplish many 'firsts' in the near future," Wright's office said in a news release. "This was illustrated during NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission in late-May, launching American astronauts from American soil for the first time since the Space Shuttle Program was slowed to a halt in 2011. This recent growth in the commercial space industry will likely result in bond issuance becoming more prevalent for varying needs in critical-infrastructure, rather than the utilization of bank loans."

According to a staff analysis of the bill, Space Florida and its predecessor organizations have entered into debt-financing transactions with banks totaling nearly $1 billion.

"Proceeds from these financings have been used to make infrastructure improvements, construct facilities, and acquire machinery, equipment and tooling necessary by Florida's aerospace and defense industrial base and government partners like NASA and the USAF [the U.S. Air Force]," Keevin Williams, Space Florida's vice president of special projects said in December, according to the bill analysis.

MusicMan

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Awesome, we get to see Steve Carell on a regular basis.

Charles Hunter

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Nothing from Curry? No nice words about Jacksonville?

marcuscnelson

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I feel like there's actually a decent chance we could get this.

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Henderson wrote that each nominee will be graded on a series of issues including the local workforce, infrastructure, community support for military families and local construction costs.

Since we already have Mayport and NAS, the workforce and community support are already there (although I guess for the wrong branch). Construction costs should be pretty low because Jacksonville. Infrastructure might be the biggest challenge.

Arguably if it comes to Florida at all it'd probably be between Jax and Tampa. They might not want to put Space Force HQ next door to Central Command. Brevard having one space wing is good, but imo not a big enough deal to really count. Orange County doesn't sound serious.

Weirdly enough, the worst thing for this would probably be Biden winning, unless by Inauguration Day they've made the pick or are so far along the new admin wouldn't interfere. I suppose there's also the possibility of Congress interfering to put Space Force somewhere outside of Florida, Cali, or Texas.

BridgeTroll

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I nominate Cecil field...
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

MusicMan

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Hell no, put it at either The Landing or The District! Really put Jax ON THE MAP!

billy

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paging Wayne Mooneyhan*

*courtesy Metro Jacksonville Heritage Collection

marcuscnelson

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This link includes some criteria and FAQ:

https://www.spaceforce.mil/News/Article/2188763/department-of-the-air-force-expands-potential-basing-locations-for-u-s-space-co

Turns out the Times Union lied, it's not the Space Force headquarters (which is in the Pentagon), it's the Space Command headquarters.

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Q5: Do you have size guidelines for how large the military base should be? We have a pretty small base, does that disqualify us? I'm talking about the 2nd of the 3 minimum criteria.
 
A5:  There are no size guidelines for how large a military installation must be. However, they must have the capacity to provide the required support services listed in the screening criteria to include support to military members and their families with key services like military housing, health care, child care, commissary, personnel and logistics support.
 
Q6: And all service--a Navy facility--would count? It doesn't have to be an Air Force base right?

A6:  Correct, USSPACECOM is a Joint service Combatant Command.  An installation belonging to any of the services, Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Force or Marine Corps, is eligible as long as it has the capacity to provide the required support services listed in the screening criteria.

Q7: Also, how will the 25 mile proximity be measured? Is it 25 miles from the city center?
 
A7:  The 25 mile proximity criterion is measured from the perimeter of the Metropolitan Statistical Area to the respective military installation’s fence line or gate.

Q8: Are Air Force Stations considered?
 
A8:  Air Force Stations will be considered, however they must have the capacity to provide the required support services listed in the screening criteria.