Graphic for the United States Space Force

By Shane Klestinski, Associate Editor

The Department of the Air Force announced on May 21 that Patrick Space Force Base, Florida, will be the new home for the U.S. Space Force Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM).

The announcement of this final decision had been pending an environmental review that lasted roughly a year after Patrick’s original selection, which determined whether that location was an appropriate fit for its intended role as permanent headquarters for STARCOM, one of the Space Force’s three field commands.

“Great news for Florida!” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted, May 21. “Patrick Space Force Base has received final approval to become the permanent headquarters for STARCOM, bolstering Florida’s growing leadership in space.”

The Space Force’s overall headquarters is at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., but STARCOM has headquartered in Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, since the Space Force’s establishment. Officials have not yet commented on a specific timeline for its move to Patrick.

STARCOM’s mission includes preparing Space Force Guardians to conduct combat operations in the space domain through education and training; developing space warfighting doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures; as well as testing and evaluating Space Force capabilities.

Unlike members of other military services, the vast majority of Guardians will never experience their actual area of operations: outer space. This limitation will make their job proficiency and competency largely dependent on training tools made possible through modeling and simulation.

“Florida is already home… to a world-recognized capital of simulation, modeling, digital domain and gaming technologies,” said Frank DiBello, former president and CEO of Space Florida, when Patrick was first announced as the preferred location. “[Those are] critical elements in the training and preparation of the nation’s next generation of Guardians.”

Rob Long, Space Florida’s current CEO, explained that support systems in Central Florida for STARCOM’s mission requirements include Orlando’s robust modeling and simulation community. Long also said that Patrick was named the sole candidate location because of its proximity to a Department of Defense modeling and simulation capability with resident space.

“You’ll see some close ties develop pretty quickly between the new command coming and those universities that are working in that space [and] the companies that are in that area as well,” Long said. “There is definitely a lot of interest in how this will grow together in this area.”

Officials also expect Brevard County to be the permanent home for STARCOM’s subordinate unit, Space Delta 10. This delta (similar to a wing in the Air Force) develops doctrine and tactics, while also executing and supporting wargames to posture the service’s forces as well as joint and allied partners.

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