Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) applauded the declaration on April 8 that the United States Space Force acquisition command would be permanently based at the Los Angeles Air Force Base. Lieu informed SpaceNews, “I’m really happy that the Space Systems Command will be based at the Los Angeles Air Force Base.” “This is a problem that Rep. Ken Calvert as well as I have been collaborating on for a long period. Calvert (R-Calif.), as well as Lieu, co-chair of the House Aerospace Caucus as well as, have opposed attempts to shrink military bases in Southern California for years.
The Space Force unveiled plans on Thursday to establish the Space Systems Command, which will be in charge of space technologies production and procurement. The Space and Missile Systems Center, which is a 67-year-old institution located at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, will be absorbed into the SSC. Lieu, who serves the district and has also served in the Air Force Reserve at Space and Missile Systems Center, or SMC, was overjoyed by the announcement.
Lieu, as well as Calvert, was able to reach out to DoD as well as Air Force officials to argue that SMC could not be closed or relocated after the Trump administration ordered the Pentagon to draw up proposals to create the US Space Force. “Our first goal as the Space Force was revealed was to prevent SMC from being transferred,” Lieu added. “It gives me great pleasure to learn that SMC will not only remain in its current place but will also have even more missions.”
SMC is a campus-like complex on the Los Angeles Air Force Base that is devoid of runways and jets. Since the 1990s, the base has weathered many waves of national base closures. “It’s been looked at and focused regularly,” Lieu added. The installation will not be shut now that Space Force has selected Los Angeles as its procurement command.
SMC has a $9 billion operating budget and employs about 6,300 military, civilian, as well as contractor employees. The Air Force is expected to add $1.8 billion to the local economy per year. “Recreating the aerospace and space environment of Southern California in another area is extremely difficult,” Lieu said. According to him, Aerospace Corporation, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing, and SpaceX are among the big corporations that partner with SMC.
According to Lieu, the Space Force actually has no intentions to increase its staff in Los Angeles, although that may shift in the future. “It’s been very lean so far,” he said. Lieu said, “At the same moment, it is one of those places that the United States would simply have to spend more because our rivals are gaining in space.” “Every day, the room becomes more essential for both the private and public sectors, for national defense, and for our commercial operations.”