ALBUQUERQUE – Air Force officials have toured the grounds of Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque to evaluate the site as a possible location for the U.S. Space Command.
Strategic basing officials during the Thursday tour focused primarily on infrastructure at the base to house the Space Command, the latest of 11 unified commands under the U.S. Department of Defense, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
Kirtland is one of six locations being considered. The others include Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, Redstone Army Airfield in Alabama, Port San Antonio in Texas and its current temporary headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.
“This is the very end of a long process,” Kirtland Partnership Committee founder Sherman McCorkle said of the site visit. The committee is assisting the efforts to lobby for the site.
Eva Blaylock, a spokeswoman for the base, said the highly trained scientists at Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory, in addition to the Kirtland’s military infrastructure, could be advantageous in the city’s bid for the headquarters.
If Kirtland is chosen, it is expected to bring more than 1,000 jobs to Albuquerque, officials said. The Space Command will be where all branches of the military coordinate with each other when conducting operations in, from or through space.
Assistant Air Force Secretary John Henderson said the department is expected to announce its “preferred” location later this month.