20 December 2019
Following standup of U.S. Space Force, Air Force bases could be renamed as space bases
By Sandra Erwin


An aerial view of Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. Credit U.S. Air Force

Raymond: �We do have a plan to rename the principal Air Force bases that house space units to be space bases."

WASHINGTON � With the U.S. Space Force now officially enacted as an independent military service, Air Force installations that primarily do space work would be renamed Space Force bases.

Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, for example, could become Peterson Space Force Base. Other candidates for re-designation include Colorado-based Schriever Air Force Base and Buckley Air Force Base, Patrick Air Force Base in Florida and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

�We do have a plan to rename the principal Air Force bases that house space units to be space bases,� said Gen. John �Jay� Raymond, commander of U.S. Space Command who also will serve as the first chief of space operations (CSO) in charge of the U.S. Space Force.

Speaking with reporters Dec. 20, Raymond said the details of possible base re-naming are still being hammered out. �We�ll plan that appropriately in the months ahead,� Raymond said. He noted that that even if bases are named space based, the Space Force will continue to heavily rely on the Air Force to operate and maintain them.

�We�ll work to rename those to match the mission of the base,� Raymond said.

The idea of renaming Air Force bases is one of several initiatives proposed by the Space Force Planning Task Force, a group of about 40 people led by Air Force Maj. Gen. Clinton Crosier who have spent the past eight months preparing for the establishment of the Space Force once Congress authorized it.

Crosier in a draft memo laid out proposed actions to accelerate the standup of the U.S. Space Force, some that could be done as early as in 30 days.

A copy of Crosier�s memo was obtained by SpaceNews.

�The White House and the secretary of the Air Force have consistently set an expectation for rapid Space Force stand-up, and have emphasized the importance of �moving out swiftly and rapidly� and creating positive public perception with regards to expeditious implementation,� the memo says.

Renaming Air Force installations as Space Force Bases is one of seven recommendations by Crosier�s planning task force �to show visible progress towards establishment of the Space Force.�

The base name �makes a visible change to the public � and provides opportunities for media coverage at the national and local levels,� the task force memo says.

Other recommendations:

  • Issue a memorandum by the Secretary the Air Force outlining the responsibilities of the chief of space operations. �This would empower the CSO immediately upon appointment and set a clear expectation that the U.S. Space Force will be a separate, independent service.�
  • Identify specific Air Force units to be assigned to the Space Force. �This establishes operational units within the Space Force immediately.� The memo says airmen will need to be informed that the initial transfer will not affect jobs or create job transfers outside of normal PCS [permanent change of station] moves.
  • Designate members assigned to realigned units and authorize them to wear the U.S. Space Force patch immediately. This would visually differentiate Space Force members and begins to establish a new service identity.
  • Move quickly to appoint an acting Assistant Secretary for Space Acquisition and Integration, a newly created position mandated by the NDAA to oversee space acquisitions. Naming an acting official �implements a key provision of the NDAA and incorporates the ASAF/SP in the development process from the inception of the U.S. Space Force.�
  • Name the initial members of the Space Force staff as soon as possible, expedite the assignment of detailees and military members, as well as advertising civilian positions for immediate hiring dates.
  • Convene the first Space Force Acquisition Council, an organization mandated in the NDAA. The council is chaired by the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration.

�To have the greatest public impact, the Space Force Planning Task Force recommends implementing the key actions listed above simultaneously,� says the memo. �Completion of the key actions, coupled with a few other longer terms actions, could allow the Department of the Air Force to declare Initial Operational Capability for the Space Force much sooner than the 12-month plan, which would be a significant milestone for the new Service.�

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