By TOM SHINE
Kansas News Service
Kansas will not be the final frontier for the U.S. Space Command headquarters.
The U.S. Air Force released its six finalists for the command’s future home this week, and Wichita, Derby, Leavenworth and Kansas City were not on the list. They were among 31 cities nationwide to submit bids last fall.
The remaining candidates to house the newest military command are Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska; Patrick Air Force Base near Melbourne, Florida; Port San Antonio in Texas, and Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.
Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, the Space Command’s current temporary headquarters, is also a finalist.
A final decision is expected in January after the U.S. Department of Defense conducts virtual and in-person site surveys.
The Space Command currently has 1,400 military and civilian personnel working in its headquarters. The newest military branch was created last year by President Donald Trump. According to its mission statement, it would conduct "operations in, from, and to space to deter conflict, and if necessary, defeat aggression, deliver space combat power for the Joint/Combined force, and defend U.S. vital interests with allies and partners."
When the Kansas bids were announced, Gov. Laura Kelly said the state would direct the necessary resources to help the bids move forward.
The Greater Wichita Partnership helped both Wichita and Derby prepare their proposals.