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Spaced out: During Space Day in Tallahassee, Ron DeSantis calls on Donald Trump to headquarter his newly established Space Force at Cape Canaveral.

Federal

Ron DeSantis touts Florida assets after Patrick AFB named Space Command finalist

The Air Force announced six possible locations.

Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to push for Florida to serve as home to a command  center directing military activity in space.

“I’m pleased that Florida has been selected as a finalist to host U.S. Space Command,” the Governor tweeted on Friday.

“We remain the world’s premiere gateway to space and with our state’s long history of supporting space efforts, it provides the perfect location for this new headquarters.”

The Air Force this week announced six potential locations to host the headquarters for Space Command, including Patrick Air Force Base in Brevard County. Other locations include bases in New Mexico, Nebraska, Colorado, Texas and Alabama.

The possibility of Florida becoming the home base comes months after the Air Force seemingly dismissed the possibility. But shortly afterward, the federal government allowed communities to self-nominate and submit proposals. DeSantis endorsed proposals to locate the command in six counties that drafted proposals, including Brevard County.

Notably, DeSantis previously represented Brevard, home to Cape Canaveral, in Congress, and he made the aerospace industry a key piece of his economic plan after being elected as Governor. He signed legislation empowering Space Florida with flexibility to offer bonds and financing for aerospace companies.

In a letter to the Air Force sent earlier this year, DeSantis made note of many assets to Space Command located on the Space Coast.

“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.

Rep. Michael Waltz, who succeeded DeSantis in Florida’s 6th Congressional District, expressed optimism Florida remained under consideration. He notes private space companies like SpaceX, which launched a manned flight just this week, and Blue Origin have a presence in Brevard already.

“It’s just a no-brainer for Florida to be in the final consideration,” Waltz, who served on the House Armed Services and Science, Space and Technology committees, told The Associated Press. “Space is in our DNA. It has been for the last five decades. It’s all right here.”

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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