Colorado Springs looks to leverage existing infrastructure to keep U.S. Space Command
It comes as no surprise that the Pikes Peak region has the infrastructure and resources to support the permanent capacity of the U.S. Space Command with five of Colorado’s six active duty military installations right here in the Pikes Peak region. The criteria for the home of U.S. Space Command include requirements that the command must be within one of the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S.; within 25 miles or less of a military base; and an AARP livability index score of at least 50 points out of 100.
In a recent survey done by USA Today, Colorado Springs real estate market was deemed the hottest in the country. Colorado Springs is a top place to live with access to high-quality healthcare systems. According to the USA Today report, the Pikes Peak Region offers a more affordable housing alternative to its northern neighbor, Denver. The median listing price is 39% lower than the metro and 13% lower than the national median.
Keeping U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs is the Responsible Choice
Five of Colorado’s six active duty military installations are right here in the Pikes Peak region including the United States Air Force Academy, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Fort Carson Army Post, Schriever Air Force Base, and Peterson Air Force Base. These installations and bases employ approximately 60,000 of the area’s 257,000 salaried workforce (23%) and contribute almost $6 billion to the local economy. If Colorado Springs is selected, Space Command will bring more than 1,400 troops and civilian workers and potentially billions of dollars to the Pikes Peak region. Relocating U.S. Space Command would be a significant loss of existing investment to the area’s five military instillations and surrounding aerospace industry.
Moving Space Command from its current location in Colorado Springs would require hundreds of millions of dollars and multiple years to accomplish. Some congressional leaders have already voiced their support against moving the command, citing a waste of resources. Additionally, it would be a tremendous disruption to the new command’s mission focus and readiness. Staying in Colorado is the most cost effective, least risky, and overall best choice for the mission and return on investment for taxpayers.
A Beacon of Talent in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is one of the aerospace capitals of the world with over 250 aerospace and defense companies. The surrounding area leads the nation in its concentration of defense contracting and aerospace companies with a talent pipeline already well established for company growth and new hires.
One of Colorado Springs’ top assets is its access to world-class defense, aerospace, and cybersecurity talent. Top companies in the area include the likes of Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, and Lockheed Martin. The city’s resources for military personnel and their families go beyond the workplace. In 2019, Colorado Springs was ranked as the #1 large city for military veterans to live by the Military Times.
In addition, the city has made a dedicated effort to help military spouses find employment. The city was named a Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Hiring Our Heroes initiative. The state also recently signed into law HB 20-1326, which allows military spouses relocating to Colorado as a part of an active-duty military assignment to receive a temporary occupational license to practice in Colorado for a maximum of three years—at no cost.
For those relocating to the area and looking for employment in the private sector, be sure to check out our COVID-19 Job-Seeker Resources webpage – complete with a list of all the companies currently hiring in the area. To see how your current cost-of-living might compare to that of Colorado Springs, head over to our cost-of-living calculator to dive into the data!
Are you a reader, investor and/or policymaker? Learn more about why Colorado Springs’ infrastructure and resources make it an ideal location to permanently house the Space Command and contact us for more information.