5 December 2019
US Air Force chooses Kauai as location for new space squadron
By Olivia Peterkin
Pacific Business News
The United States Air Force approved Barking Sands Pacific Missile Range on Kauai as the "preferred alternative" for the Air National Guard’s Space Control Squadron in an announcement on Monday.
For the new Kauai site, the Air Force will create a new "highly technical" squadron to monitor U.S. satellites supporting the national security space mission. The new unit will also create 88 new positions within the Hawaii Air National Guard, including 59 part-time and 29 full-time positions.
“The Hawaii Air National Guard was one of the first units to respond to Kauai following the April 2018 flood," said Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami, in a statement. "HIANG continues to be a critical partner to the ongoing response and recovery efforts, and we are pleased to hear of the increased presence here on island. We welcome the additional employment opportunities for our local folks, particularly in the areas of Science, Math, and Technology."
The basing process is slated to be completed in the summer of 2020, with plans for part of the squadron being operational in 2021, and fully operational by 2022.
“This decision [to select Kauai
as the preferred alternative]
reaffirms the importance of
Hawaii’s strategic role in our
national security and is proof
that the men and women of
Hawaii’s Air National Guard are
the best in the world,” said
Brian Schatz, lead Democrat
on the Senate Appropriations
Subcommittee on Military
Construction and Veterans
Affairs, in a statement. “While
this new unit will help
strengthen the Air Force’s space
capabilities and advance our
national security interests, it
also means more federal funds
for the state and more
opportunities for local jobs.”