Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. (Duncan Wood/U.S. Air Force)

The Space Force, a new armed service branch that will be responsible for America’s military efforts in space, needs a home and it may be Colorado.

The National Defense Authorization Act, passed by Congress and expected to soon be signed into law by President Donald Trump, doesn’t explicitly designate where the new military branch’s main hub will be. But the spending plan authorizes $148 million to begin construction on a Combined Space Operations Facility at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, an area already home to the newly established U.S. Space Command.

Colorado officials appear optimistic that the region will be the eventual headquarters.

“With U.S. Space Command established in Colorado Springs earlier this year, and the bulk of the Space Force personnel currently serving on Peterson and Schriever Air Force Bases, this NDAA solidifies our community’s position as the premier defense space community of the United States,” Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., said in a statement.

The establishment of the Space Force, a top priority for Trump, marks the first time in more than 70 years that a new military service has been formed. U.S. Air Force Gen. John Raymond, who heads Space Command, told Stars and Stripes in October that growing security demands in space and the need to defend satellites from potential attack require a military branch devoted to it.

The idea is for the Space Force to be a partner to the Air Force as the Marine Corps is to the Navy.

“I think it is absolutely important that we have a separate service with a singular focus on space,” Raymond said. Twitter: @john_vandiver

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John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

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