Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) sent a letter to President Trump Tuesday requesting that the United States Space Command be headquartered in Florida.
DeSantis touted the Sunshine State’s ties to both the military and space travel, suggesting its existing relations would make Florida an ideal location to headquarter the command.
“As the most military friendly state in the country with a fast-growing commercial aerospace industry, Florida is the ideal location for USSPACECOM. In addition to an already-existing infrastructure and a highly trained workforce, Florida has enduring relationships with both the Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration,” he wrote.
U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command are already based in Florida, as are the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
“As the world’s premier gateway to space, Florida has been the departure point for more cargo and humans to space than any other place in the world, so I believe our state is the logical choice to base this new command. In addition to my request to the President, I have also directed Space Florida to make it a top priority to pursue and secure this new headquarters here in Florida,” DeSantis added in a follow up statement.
A White House spokesperson said in a statement “We appreciate the letter from Gov. DeSantis which highlighted Florida’s proud legacy as a leader in space exploration.”
DeSantis was elected governor last fall after Trump backed him in a GOP primary and campaigned for him in the general election. The former congressman, who frequently offered support for Trump in cable news appearances, was initially seen as the underdog in the GOP primary but pulled off the victory with an assist from the president.
Trump in December directed the Pentagon to create Space Command to lay the groundwork for his proposed Space Force. Vice President Pence announced its establishment at the Kennedy Space Center.
Establishing Space Command, which previously existed under the Air Force, as a unified combatant command brought each military branch’s space elements under one roof.
Trump signed a directive Tuesday to establish the Space Force as the newest branch of the military, though he intends to keep it as part of the Air Force. The Pentagon will now draft legislation to get congressional approval and funding.