Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ title=
Entrance to Vandenberg Air Force Base (file photo)
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Source: Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein

Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Salud Carbajal (both D-Calif.) [Tuesday] sent a letter to the secretary of the Air Force asking for clarification on the selection process for the future location of Space Command headquarters. The process ultimately excluded Vandenberg Air Force Base from the list of finalists after initially including it as one of three finalists.

“As we highlighted in our August 2020 letter to you, we continue to believe that Vandenberg’s existing space-related missions and assets, along with its proximity to the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, would offer Space Command unique and unparalleled advantages. As the West Coast defense and commercial space launch site, Vandenberg already offers a highly-qualified workforce for aerospace engineering, and the local community is eager to welcome Space Command to the area,” wrote Feinstein and Carbajal.

“[W]e respectfully request that you provide us with specific information about Vandenberg’s scores in each of the evaluation factors and their criteria, including relative to other bases. We also request that you provide precise details about how the evaluation factors and criteria changed between the selection processes in 2019 and 2020.”

Full text of the letter is available here and below.

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December 8, 2020
 
The Honorable Barbara M. Barrett
Secretary of the Air Force
1670 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20330-1670

Dear Secretary Barrett:

We write today to express our disappointment that Vandenberg Air Force Base was not selected as the permanent location of U.S. Space Command Headquarters. We ask that you provide additional information related to the evaluation metrics used to determine the finalists. 

As we highlighted in our August 2020 letter to you, we continue to believe that Vandenberg’s existing space-related missions and assets, along with its proximity to the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, would offer Space Command unique and unparalleled advantages. As the West Coast defense and commercial space launch site, Vandenberg already offers a highly-qualified workforce for aerospace engineering, and the local community is eager to welcome Space Command to the area. Further, Vandenberg supports space situational awareness through the Combined Space Operations Center and serves a critical role in homeland defense through its Missile Defense Agency capabilities.

In 2019, the Air Force selected Vandenberg as one of three finalist locations, in addition to sites in Alabama and Colorado. We understand that the governors of Texas and Florida protested the Air Force’s decision because they claimed the selection process was unfair, prompting a new evaluation this year of bases nationwide. During that process, Vandenberg was cut from the list of six finalist locations; but sites in Alabama and Colorado remain in contention while bases in Texas and Florida were added to the list, as well as bases in New Mexico and Nebraska.

Given this shift in the Air Force’s evaluation and selection process for Space Command Headquarters, we respectfully request that you provide us with specific information about Vandenberg’s scores in each of the evaluation factors and their criteria, including relative to other bases. We also request that you provide precise details about how the evaluation factors and criteria changed between the selection processes in 2019 and 2020. We appreciate your attention to this request and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
 
Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator
 
Salud Carbajal
Member of Congress
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salsa guy Dec 11, 2020 01:30 PM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

Wow another hit on Cali! We dont need those jobs, Lompoc, the armpit, doesn't need that additional revenue. What kind of a nimby statement is glad they are not locating here because we dont want to be a target [paraphrase]. Yeah that's good let them blow up the rest of US, but you'll be safe. Why would Space Force want to come here, after Elon has moved to Texas. Wonder how long he will keep his businesses in CA.?

OWLworks Dec 11, 2020 10:22 AM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

The US Space force was a non-partisan request over years to keep up with Cyber warfare, like Biowarefare we are now experiencing in its impact and effect on us all if it doesn't kill us. It is a Technical Military Branch filled with Computer experts at all levels and physics/electrical engineering types who are experts in preventing cyber attacks--internet loss which will kill our economy. Putting 340 million people into darkness without information. Was not selected because of costs of taxes,
housing, and living here. There are also clear political prejudices expressed today. So many "experts" so little knowledge.

PitMix Dec 11, 2020 01:22 PM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

Amazing that Repubs support the waste and overspending by yet another branch of the military. I think we all agree that cyber and space security are essential, but disagree on whether this can be done by an existing branch of the 1,000,000,000,000$ homeland/military/industrial complex. I believe the existing alphabet soup agencies have these capabilities. If we are creating a new agency, which of the existing agencies are we getting rid of? Repubs never met a government military agency they didn't like.

ChillinGrillin Dec 10, 2020 09:57 PM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

What people need more than ever right now is multi billion dollar defense projects to fight enemies that don't exist and yet another boondoggle gravy train! God Emperor Jesus Trump our savior is makin 'Merica gooder again with the Space Force. Didn't lose, fake news. He just don't like California for being communist Muslims from Kenya like Obama. Make sure you buy Cocoa Puffs to collect all the latest Qanon clues and decoder rings. To infinity and beyond!

winter Dec 10, 2020 08:23 PM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

I would like to see it here...the pride of having it.
Grew up watching rockets in Cape Canaveral..
Was thrilled to see the recent launches here from my backyard...
Don't know the details you have all mentioned...valid points...cost of living, housing, etc...
We really have much better weather for launches, compared to Florida, or Texas.

Basicinfo805 Dec 10, 2020 07:04 PM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

Agree with VOR - it's pretty darn simple, CA has a really high cost of living and isn't business friendly at all. I think it's good vandenberg didn't get it personally. I don't even know why we (the US) should have such a thing in the first place. Can anyone explain why we need it?

Icre84U Dec 10, 2020 05:13 PM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

I'm not against the idea of a "space force."
But for the money, DHL and/or Fed-Ex can deliver (properly shielded) delayed timed detonation nuclear weapons to nearly any point in the world, at far less costs and far greater accuracy.
Just saying....

RHS Dec 10, 2020 04:28 PM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

It is always interesting to see the complaints from those who loath government programs when a military initiative is denied them. Don't want money from socialized government programs such as jobs in the public sector or building infrastructure but can't resist the lure of military parades and bravado. The idea that we need a "Space Force" is a caricature of what this country could do with such money.

Always_Running Dec 10, 2020 01:43 PM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

My guess is Vandenberg And Lompoc aren’t prepared for 1,400 troops and civilian workers, plus their families in a short period of time. They have a larger city, hiking trails and larger homes with privacy for top military ranks

GeneralTree Dec 10, 2020 12:36 PM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

Space Force needs to be reorganized under the Air Force, like any logical, critically thinking President would have done in the first place. As to why Vandenberg isn't under consideration for hosting - my guess is California has too much windmill cancer and dead burning trees.

PitMix Dec 11, 2020 07:36 AM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

Saying houses in crime-infested Lompoc are cheaper than other areas of the County doesn't mean they are cheap. My sister in Ohio bought a 2-story brick house with a one acre lot in a major city for $250,000. That will probably get you a condo in Lompoc, or a mobile home.

tinker1 Dec 10, 2020 07:11 PM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

The cost of living in Lompoc is more reasonable than a lot of California but that would change if it was awarded. A old hotel in the area of vandenberg village is going under a major remodel. Perhaps counting on space force going there

ChemicalSuperFreak Dec 10, 2020 03:51 PM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

PIT: Totally agree. Real estate and the cost of living are too prohibitive in California. To be competitive and make the best use of the their budget, they'll have to locate the command elsewhere.
2:03 PM: Space truly is the final frontier. Sounds like you'd like to see the US fall behind, while China takes over.

Voice of Reason Dec 10, 2020 03:19 PM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

to the anonymous poster on an anonymous message board @2:03. Six figures is hardly meagerly paid, and that's for only 9 months out of the year. See for yourself, https://transparentcalifornia.com. Teachers unions donated $19 MILLION to Gov. Newsom's gubernatorial campaign and have been reaping the benefits of that donation this entire pandemic while kids remain out of school, the safest place kids can be per the CDC. Let that sink in, the governor, paid for by the teachers unions, is preventing children for being in the safest place they can be. Crazy. Are our public schools, and the property tax dollars they consume, supposed educate our children or provide stable employment for adults? Our State's failed policies and very unfriendly business climate (even for the feds) are exactly why Vandenberg was cut. It's unfortunate for our community and consequence of an overregulated environment. (disclaimer: I've loved every teacher my children have had and even teaching remotely is hard work for them, the teacher union issue is bigger than any individual teacher).

PitMix Dec 10, 2020 02:39 PM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

The real reason they are not in the final list is that housing prices are too expensive for air force salaries. If they put the base in Missouri then the staff can buy a big house and yard for 200K, and live the good (if sometimes hot and humid and then cold and snowy) life.

a-1607637797 Dec 10, 2020 02:03 PM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

No, Space Force needs to be canceled altogether. Just one more huge waste of money that this country doesn't need. The military wastes and washes and wastes, yet meagerly paid teachers don't even have the funds to buy their students supplies. What a racket the military has become.

PitMix Dec 10, 2020 12:31 PM
Legislators Ask Why Vandenberg Was Excluded from Space Command HQ

Do our politicians really need to spend time trying to get another useless government bureaucracy started by a village idiot? Isn't the Air Force already equipped to handle our space needs? If not, let's support the Space Force and get rid of the Air Force. Should be a zero sum game at this point given our huge national debt.

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