Gov. Ron DeSantis has endorsed six Florida counties and three cities that are hopeful about becoming home to the command headquarters of the U.S. Space Force.
In a letter sent last 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, which was 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,” he continues.
Make Historyhttps://t.co/FfzYn8DeM8 pic.twitter.com/buX4xCblQB
— United States Space Force (@SpaceForceDoD) May 28, 2020
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 the criteria for communities that want to be considered for the Space Force headquarters.
The requirements include 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 for the location of the headquarters is expected in early 2021. Each nominee will be graded on a series of issues including the local workforce, infrastructure, community support for military families, and local construction costs.