AURORA | A newly-created bipartisan caucus in Congress dedicated to the U.S. Space Force will feature two Colorado representatives, both of which are hoping their city’s will become the permanent home for the U.S. Space Command.

Aurora’s Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat, and Colorado Springs’ Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican, along with other members of Congress announced the creation of the caucus this week. The group said in a news release it aims to educate fellow lawmakers and their staff “about the U.S. Space Force as well as advocating on the Hill on behalf of our nation’s youngest military Service.” 

“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I often discuss the changing nature of the threats to our national security and the paramount role that space will play in defending U.S. interests,” Crow said in a statement. “As co-chair of the newly-formed Space Force Caucus, I look forward to working closely with senior leaders of the Space Force and Air Force to ensure Congress continues to advance space priorities in our national security policies and provide for the needs of our Space Force professionals. With the Space Force at the lead, we will ensure continued U.S. space dominance in the decades to come.”

Colorado has quickly become a hotspot for the aerospace industry and final destination for the U.S. Space Command, which is currently located in Colorado Springs while a permanent location is being determined. 

Aurora and Buckley Air Force Base was named a finalist alongside Colorado Springs as a long-term location, and local leaders have been lobbying for the designation. 

Aurora City Council Member Dave Gruber, a retired Air Force colonel and former senior commander at Buckley, wrote in an op-ed in the Sentinel this summer that local expertise makes Colorado’s third-largest city the best place for the new military branch. Raytheon, Lockheed, Boeing, United Launch Alliance, Maxar, Northrup Grumman, Sierra Nevada Corporation and many smaller local space businesses all work in or near Aurora.

“The Aurora City Council is fully behind this pursuit and has assigned me to lead our efforts. Our team includes the Aurora Defense Council, the Colorado Space Coalition, local business leaders, industry experts, academicians and former military space professionals,” he wrote, adding that Buckley has enriched Aurora in so many ways since the 60s, when the base was established. 

“We now have more graduate-level engineers working in our region than almost any other area in the state. Buckley AFB alone generates over $1B of economic activity annually, and aerospace and defense activities produce $36 billion dollars statewide. If we win the competition to become the home of U.S. Space Command, we can expect those great jobs and the economic benefits to increase tremendously. The secondary effects will create opportunities and jobs throughout the region,” Gruber wrote. 

— KARA MASON, Staff Writer