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Kern County Supervisors Urge Trump To Consider Edwards Air Force Base For Space Development Agency

Article posted on 03/22/2019

The Kern County Board of Supervisors threw their hat in the ring metaphorically on Tuesday by asking President Donald Trump to consider locating some or all of his Space Force effort in Kern County. All five supervisors on March 19 signed a letter to Trump touting the benefits of NAWS China Lake and Edwards Air Force Base for aiding the mission to control space, but they were not the first to bring the local area to the president’s attention for this purpose.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and five other congressmen — Devin Nunes, Duncan Hunter, Paul Cook, Tom McClintock and Doug LaMalfa — sent a letter dated Feb. 28 to the President urging Trump to consider Edwards Air Force Base and NAWS China Lake as possible locations for “headquarters and the lead for weapons development and weapons employment concepts for the proposed Space Development Agency.”

The letter touted the benefits of the bases’ central location “near the core of American space industry,” and notes that in the fall of 2017, Vice President Mike Pence visited the Mojave Air and Space Port. The letter also notes the benefits of R-2508 military restricted airspace and mentions the proximity of the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Rocket Lab, U.S. Air Force Plant 42 and other military installations and space industry facilities.

The letter from McCarthy and the other congressmen states, “There is no location better poised to serve as the bedrock of the new Space Development Agency than R-2508, and no two bases than Edwards and China Lake.”

The Mojave Air and Space Port sent a letter dated Feb. 26, supporting McCarthy’s request. The letter, signed by Board Chairman Andrew Parker, notes that, “Mojave is located between both bases and is home to the leading commercial space companies who are busy designing, building, and testing revolutionary launch vehicles and spacecraft.” It also notes Pence’s visit in 2017.

Former Mojave Air and Space Port CEO and current member of the National Space Council Users Advisory Group Stu Witt told the Daily Independent Wednesday that he supports the efforts of the Board of Supervisors to bring the Space Force to Kern County.

California Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove and Assemblyman Vince Fong sent a joint letter dated Feb. 28 to the president, also urging he look at China Lake and Edwards for his Space Agency. This letter contains similar language to those sent by McCarthy and the Mojave Air and Space Port.

On March 15, the China Lake Alliance weighed in with similar recommendations that the president look at the local area as the place for space. The letter to Trump was signed by Executive Director David Janiec and adds the further information that, “Edwards has long been recognized for leading edge aerospace innovation and testing. China Lake has an equally rich, but less publicly known role, proudly going back to 1958 when China Lake conceived, developed and demonstrated the (now declassified) NOTSNIK, the world’s first air-launched orbital booster, in response to the Soviet SPUTNIK satellite. China Lake also developed the concept for the Polaris/Trident Strategic Systems and, more recently, leads integration of space-based sensors and communications into networked targeting and command and control systems for US and allied forces.”

The Indian Wells Valley Economic Development Corporation also checked in with a similar message. In a letter dated March 19 and signed by Executive Director Scott O’Neil, the IWVEDC letter also backs McCarthy’s recommendations, although it specifically mentions NAWC Weapons Division China Lake rather than NAWS China Lake.

The letter from the EDC further notes that “Both of these military installations [Edwards AFB and China Lake] have made significant and pioneering contributions to our national security . . . EAFB in jet aircraft innovation and testing and China Lake in weapons, weapons systems integration and electronic welfare. Both EAFB and NAWCWD are on military restricted land that are covered by a large military restricted airspace for testing military systems. The land ranges encompass approximately 2,200 square miles and the airspace is roughly one-eighth of the California airspace. The airspace directly over the land ranges provide immediate access to space. These are huge assets that will help enable the mission of the new Space Development Agency.”


Source: Taft Midway Driller. While this information is deemed reliable, it has not been verified and its accuracy is not guaranteed by the source, ACE Capital Group, its representative, brokers, and/or agents. ACE Capital Group reserves the right to correct any unintended errors or omissions.

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