Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners and the Miami-Dade Beacon Council worked together to nominate Miami-Dade County as a potential site for the headquarters of the United States Space Command (USSPACECOM). Florida Governor Ron DeSantis endorsed and submitted a total of eight (8) nominations from communities across the state including Jacksonville, Pensacola, Brevard County, Orange County, Pinellas County, Seminole County, a joint proposal from Tampa and Hillsborough County and Miami-Dade County.
“We are proud and honored that Governor DeSantis has endorsed our submission,” said Mayor Gimenez. “Our County has the highly skilled workforce, the resources, the military installation and the technological capacity to meet the stringent screening and evaluation criteria of these new headquarters for the United States Space Command.”
In December 2019, President Trump signed a law that established Space Force as a separate branch of the U.S. military. In May 2020, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force John Henderson outlined the criteria required from communities that want to be considered as headquarters for Space Force’s central command; these include being located within 25 miles of a military installation, ranking among the top 150 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the U.S., and scoring a 50 or higher out of 100 on the American Association of Retired Persons Public Policy Institute’s Livability Index.
Miami-Dade fares well, meeting many of the government’s criteria as outlined. Already home to United States Southern Command, Special Operations Command South, and Homestead Air Reserve Base, Miami is the 7th largest MSA in the country, and boasts a high livability index score (rating great neighborhoods, clean air and water, civic/social involvement, and inclusive opportunities)important criteria when being considered as a location. A multi-faceted region with robust urban centers as well as suburban markets, Miami-Dade offers a variety of sites that are well-suited for USSPACECOM’s needs – all easily accessible to South Florida’s highly educated and diverse workforce of more than 3 million.
“As the Chairman of the Military Affairs Board and Military liaison for Miami- Dade County, when I became aware that the U.S. Air Force was reopening the competition for the new U.S. Space Command, I knew Miami-Dade needed to be included in these conversations,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz. “The Space Command would be a perfect fit for the 1,400 military and civilian personnel who would call the Command center home, which is why I am currently working on legislation to help bring the U.S. Space Command to Miami-Dade County.”
As the economic engine of the third largest state, Miami-Dade County has built a modern and resilient infrastructure that supports an international business community of more than 1,400 multinational corporations, a leading airport (#1 for International Freight in U.S.) and seaport (#1 Container Port in Florida) that directly connect passengers and cargo to global hubs. A dynamic start-up community ranked #1 in U.S. by the Kauffman Foundation and expanding innovation ecosystem further position Miami-Dade as a strong competitor for USSPACECOM’s headquarters.
“We look forward to competing for the headquarters of United States Space Command . Working together with Governor DeSantis, Space Florida and Miami-Dade County leadership, we are excited to demonstrate why Miami-Dade is a smart, safe, and serious location for Space Force and any other businesses looking for an innovative global market with incredibly diverse talent,” said Hugo Castro, Executive Vice President, Equitable Advisors South Florida Branch and Chair of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council.
Nominees are graded on a series of criteria including the local workforce, infrastructure, community support for military families and local construction costs – all areas where Miami-Dade excels. Additionally, Florida is currently home to three combatant commands and more than 20 military installations. The State’s defense and aerospace ecosystem provides unique capabilities and opportunities that USSPACECOM could tap into from a South Florida command center.
The next step in the strategic basing process, as outlined by the Air Force, is an evaluation phase with an iterative process wherein communities will respond to robust questionnaires issued by the Air Force. Final selection is expected in early 2021.
Original letter from the Department of the Air Force requesting self-nominations and the U.S. Space Command Criteria Overview