Rubio Welcomes Announcement That Florida’s Patrick AFB is Finalist for U.S. Space Command Headquarters
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) welcomed the news that Patrick Air Force Base (AFB) in Brevard County, Florida has been chosen as one of six finalists for the permanent location for the headquarters of the United States Space Command (USSPACECOM). In July, Rubio led the Florida congressional delegation in urging U.S. Air Force Assistant Secretary John Henderson to consider eight Florida locations, including Brevard County, for the future home of USSPACECOM. In March, Rubio led his Florida colleagues in urging then Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to select Florida as the permanent location for USSPACECOM headquarters.
“For nearly two years, I have urged the Administration to consider Florida for the permanent headquarters of USSPACECOM, and I am pleased that Patrick AFB has been selected as one of six finalists,” Rubio said. “Since President John F. Kennedy first challenged our great nation to be the first to land a man on the moon and probe the vast unknown of space, every American manned mission to space — Apollo, the Space Shuttle, and the recent successful SpaceX Crew Dragon — launched from Florida soil.
“Florida’s Space Coast has been America’s gateway to the stars for decades, and Florida’s robust, rapidly growing and innovative commercial space industry, in partnership with NASA, is continuing to build off this historic legacy,” Rubio continued. “Florida is also home to several excellent institutions of higher education with a long history of prioritizing space research and innovation, which would be a great asset to USSPACECOM as the Space Force grows. Without a doubt, Florida is incredibly well positioned to be the permanent headquarters of USSPACECOM, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to make this a reality.”
In December 2018, Rubio urged then Secretary of Defense James Mattis to headquarter USSPACECOM in Florida, given the extensive history the state has as the U.S. gateway to the stars. In May 2019, Rubio led the entire Florida congressional delegation expressing concern over the lack of transparency in the DOD’s selection process for the USSPACECOM headquarters after Florida was excluded from the list of installations that were under consideration.