Space Force grows with new delta, faces challenges in Colorado Springs around facilities, child care
The Gazette March 23, 2023
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Tribune News Service) — The Space Force is growing with the creation of a new delta that will focus on protecting and defending satellites with agency partners outside the military.
Space Base Delta 1 Installations’ Commander Col. David Hanson announced Delta 15 at his State of the Bases speech Tuesday along with an overview of challenges facing his delta. For example, the bases need more work space to support growth and more child care.
Hanson oversees work to support Schriever and Peterson Space Force bases and installations across the globe where space missions take place, such as Thule Air Base in Greenland. The airmen and guardians in Delta 1 provide services such as logistics, housing, fire protection, civil engineering and IT. The other Space Force delta also have specific tasks, such as electronic warfare.
The addition of a new delta is indicative of the growth Hanson is managing that has created a space crunch in facilities at Schriever, Peterson and Cheyenne Mountain Space Force Station, forcing the military to lease space outside of the bases.
“All the Space deltas are growing in personnel and so facilities space and infrastructure support is really hard to keep up with,” he said. “I can’t build a building overnight, but I need to find places for those new airmen and guardians who are doing their space missions to have an office, to have a desk, to have a computer work center, to be able to do their job day to day.”
Delta 15 was activated March 10 at Schriever and has about 30 to 40 members, he said. When fully staffed, it will have 213 military and civilian staff members, according to a news release.
The new delta will work closely with the National Space Defense Center at Schriever, an organization supported by the Department of Defense and the intelligence community that “develops and improves U.S. ability to rapidly detect, warn, characterize, attribute and defend against threats to our nation’s vital space systems,” a news release stated.
The military doesn’t have plans to build additional office space at Peterson or Schriever right now, Hanson said, so he is repurposing buildings to house more people.
Schriever is expected to break ground on a $30 million gym at the end of the year or the beginning of next year and finish it by 2025, he said. The 57,250-square-foot building that will feature an indoor track, fitness and group exercise rooms will be connected to the existing gym by a breezeway.
In addition to facility needs, Hanson said, child care remains an ongoing challenge. Despite hiring new caregivers and opening additional rooms, a long wait list persists.
“Child care is gravely important,” he said.
Colorado Springs as a whole has faced a similar challenge around a shortage of early education instructors.
To help build understanding about the Space Force locally and engage with local leaders, Hanson also announced a new Pikes Peak Friends of Space program. The first class will have seven community representatives from businesses, Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado Springs Airport, the Home Front Military Network and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
“We plan to grow this program at the speed both sides can support,” he said.
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