AURORA | Congressperson Jason Crow, senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper discussed their advocacy on behalf of Buckley Space Force Base on Friday, after a meeting with military leaders and local elected officials.
“As the world becomes a smaller place, this is the best place to protect (against) an attack on the homeland from the North,” Hickenlooper said outside of the base’s old visitor center.
“Russia has already demonstrated that they can come over the pole. China is certainly capable of that, and we have to be ready. And if we close down the wing here, we lose a certain amount of readiness.”
Crow said the country’s military “protect(s) the entire western United States out of this base,” as the group talked about persuading the Department of Defense to invest in replacing the aging F-16 fighter jets flown by the 140th Wing of the Colorado Air National Guard.
Other challenges facing the base that the group mentioned in their meeting included energy infrastructure — Crow said the space monitoring equipment underneath the characteristic golf ball-shaped radomes of the base draw large amounts of power, and that the base is working with Xcel Energy and the city to build more infrastructure.
He also said the base hopes to disseminate more information about military careers to increase lagging recruitment numbers and talked about his efforts to develop a national guard component of the U.S. Space Force.
“Buckley Air Force Base fell short in terms of its application for Space Command, and yet the citizens of Aurora rode into the breach when we were having that fight,” Bennet said.
“We wanted to make sure that the administration in Washington understood that this is an amazing place to host some of the most important missions that this nation has for our national defense.”