Vice President Mike Pence announced Wednesday, December 9, 2020 that Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base have been renamed as part of the new military branch Space Force.
“Today we make history with the first two installations in the history of the United States Space Force to bear the name of this new branch of the service,” Pence said at Cape Canaveral.
The new names are Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Patrick Space Force Base.
The name changes, ordered by the Trump administration, had been on hold through an agreement between Congress and Air Force officials, pending completion of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which is before Congress.
President Trump has indicated he would veto the $740.5 billion defense bill if it does not include a repeal of the Section 230 law that shields internet companies from being liable for postings.
Pence’s announcement came as he was in Florida to attend a meeting of the National Space Council at Kennedy Space Center. Pence is chairman of the council.
Potential sites for a permanent U.S. Space Command are:
Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico
Patrick Air Force Base in Florida
Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska
Port San Antonio (Formerly Kelly Air Force Base) in Texas
Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado
Redstone Arsenal in Alabama
SPACECOM, established in August 2019, remains temporarily housed at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. They are responsible for military operations related to space, while the Space Force organizes and trains space personnel. Like the other military branches, the Space Force has its headquarters at the Pentagon
On Tuesday, Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello told the Enterprise Florida Board of Directors that Florida has made a “very strong case” for the Patrick base to be the permanent U.S. Space Command headquarters.
The base, south of Cape Canaveral in Brevard County, is one of six finalists to be command headquarters for Space Force.
A final decision is expected early next year.
In 2020, graduates of the Air Force undergraduate space training school who transitioned to the Space Force had the option to pursue specialized career tracks such as orbital warfare, space electronic warfare, space battle management, and space access and sustainment,” said Brig. Gen. DeAnn Burt, director of operations and communication.