HOUSTON – Space Force, a proposed sixth service of the U.S. military, needs a headquarters and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is pitching Ellington Airport in Houston as a location.
The Pentagon sent a legislative proposal to Congress earlier this month requesting 200 people and $72 million from the 2020 fiscal year budget to establish a headquarters for the Space Force.
Space Force would begin as part of the Air Force but could become its own separate department in the future. The branch would include both uniformed and civilian personnel conducting and supporting space operations within the military, according to reports.
Abbott last week sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking for Texas, specifically Ellington in Space City, to be home of the new Space Force headquarters.
In the letter, Abbott praises Houston for its support of "aerospace, aviation, and defense industries for decades" and its designation as a spaceport by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The governor says the space command "would also benefit from having its headquarters located near NASA's Johnson Space Center."
Abbott mentions how Houston has earned the Space City nickname, and is home to the Astros and Rockets. (He neglected to mention the Aeros.)
Text of the full letter is below:
"Dear Mr. President:
"I commend you for taking action to create the United States Space Command and to establish the United States Space Force within the Department of the Air Force. The State of Texas stands ready to support your leadership. To that end, there is no better location for the Space Command headquarters than Houston's Ellington Airport, near the Johnson Space Center. I ask that you make this the home for the new headquarters.
"As you know, Texas has a long and proud history of supporting our military. We also have the resources, universities, and human capital to support something as important to the Nation's future as the Space Command and Space Force.
"Just last year, Austin was selected as the home of the new Army Futures Command, which is the forefront of the Army's modernization effort. Houston has supported the aerospace, aviation, and defense industries for decades, giving it a workforce that can get the Space Command headquarters up and running as fast as possible. Ellington Airport, in particular, has been designated as a Spaceport by the Federal Aviation Administration. It is home to Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, which has units of the Texas Army and Air National Guard, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, and Coast Guard, as well as NASA flight operations. The airport has land available for development adjacent to NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. Major aerospace and defense contractors in
the area include the Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin, United Technologies Corp, and Jacobs Engineering.
"The Space Command would also benefit from having its headquarters located near NASA's Johnson Space Center. For over half a century, the Johnson Space Center has been home to the astronaut corps. It has continuously functioned as the world's center for command and control of human space flight mission operations, including the International Space Station.
"Houston, Texas, home of the Astros and the Rockets, has earned its "Space City" nickname.
""What was once the furthest outpost on the old frontier of the West," as President Kennedy announced from Rice Stadium in 1962, is now "the furthest outpost on the new frontier of science and space." I hope you will agree with me that the Space Command belongs in Space City.