In an announcement made today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed that the Patrick Space Force Base in Florida will now serve as the headquarters for the U.S. Space Force Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM).
This news further strengthens Florida’s standing as the most military-friendly state in the US and its role as the country’s main hub for military and private space operations.
The mission of STARCOM is multifaceted. It aims to equip U.S. Space Force (USSF) Guardians to emerge victorious in challenging, compromised, and restricted operational conditions. The method for achieving this goal involves the meticulous development, education, and training of space professionals. STARCOM will also focus on the creation of space warfighting doctrine, strategies, techniques, and procedures, while conducting tests and evaluating USSF capabilities.
Governor DeSantis conveyed his pride in this landmark achievement, reflecting on the historical significance of the Space Coast. “From Project Mercury to today’s privatized spaceflight, Americans look to Florida’s Space Coast to see history in the making,” said DeSantis. “We are honored to host the Space Training and Readiness Command headquarters and continue Florida’s history as America’s gateway to outer space.”
Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez highlighted the importance of Florida’s role in this critical field. “Florida’s selection as the STARCOM headquarters underscores the state’s exceptional assets and its vital contribution to the nation’s space endeavors,” she said. Nuñez drew attention to the state’s superior aerospace infrastructure, military installations, and leading academic institutions, which she believes provide crucial collaborative partnerships to advance space military operations from Florida’s Space Coast.
Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida, welcomed the U.S. Air Force’s decision as a testament to Florida’s strategic significance in promoting national security and defense in space. “Bringing STARCOM’s headquarters to Patrick Space Force Base and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station is a significant milestone in Florida’s history and reaffirms our critical role in advancing the nation’s space and military capabilities,” said DiBello. He extended his gratitude to USSF General Stephen Purdy for his dedication to establishing a space military operations hub in Florida.
Space Florida, the state’s aerospace economic development agency, played a key role in this successful bid. They collaborated with multiple partners, including the Florida Defense Support Task Force, Enterprise Florida, the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, and many educational institutions like the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the Florida Institute of Technology, and the University of Central Florida.
In this collaborative effort, Space Florida and its partners demonstrated a unity of purpose, working tirelessly to ensure that STARCOM found its home in Florida. The decision to establish the STARCOM headquarters at Patrick Space Force Base underscores the vital contribution of the Sunshine State to the nation’s space missions, a role set to expand as we venture deeper into the final frontier.