Find all USSF Space Force Locations. On December 20, 2019, the Department of Defense established the newest branch of the uniformed services; the United States Space Force (USSF). Created via the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, USSF was created within the Department of the Air Force and is operated under the auspices of the Secretary of the Air Force.
Since the creation of the USSF, there have been many changes in Air Force organization that reflect the existence of Space Force.
Much in the same way that certain U.S. Army facilities were transferred or redesignated as Air Force Bases, USAF has transferred certain assets from Air Force control to the jurisdiction of USSF. Those assets include a number of former Air Force bases now or soon-to-be redesignated as Space Force locations. They include:
- Buckley AFB, Colorado
- Peterson AFB, Colorado
- Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado
- Los Angeles, California
- Schriever AFB, Colorado
- Vandenberg AFB, California
- Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
- Patrick AFB, Florida
Air Force Or Space Force?
The list above requires a caveat–most of these installations, despite being listed on the Space Force official site as being “Space Force Locations” have not yet been officially redesignated (at press time) as Space Force bases. Why?
The FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) contains a limitation on the Pentagon’s authority to transfer military installations–in this case from the U.S. Air Force to the Space Force.
The NDAA specifically states, “A military installation (whether or not under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Air Force) may not be transferred to the jurisdiction or command of the Space Force until the Secretary of the Air Force briefs the congressional defense committees on the results of a business case analysis”.
This could delay official redesignations in some cases. In others, such as Patrick Space Force Base in Florida, the change has already been made. However, these changes may be in name only in certain cases until certain requirements have been met to allow transfer from other branches of service over to Space Force.
Space Force Locations In The United States
Buckley AFB, Colorado
Located in Aurora, Colorado, Buckley AFB delivers global infrared surveillance, tracking and missile warning for theater and homeland defense. Formerly the home of the 460th Space Wing (inactivated in 2020) Buckley Garrison was activated as a unit of U.S. Space Force, providing support for air operations, space-based missile warning capabilities, space surveillance operations, and space communications missions.
Peterson-Schriver Garrison (Formerly Peterson AFB, Colorado and Schriever AFB, Colorado)
The official site for the new Garrison explains that, thanks to “consolidation of garrison support for multiple Air Force Bases and Stations supporting USSF missions under one commander” major changes resulted in the creation of the Peterson-Schriever Garrison. The garrison supports more than 18,000 with yearly budgets of $285 million or more. The Garrison provides support for:
- Operating Location Peterson
- Operating Location Schriever
- Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station
- New Boston Air Force Station, New Hampshire
- Kaena Point Air Force Station, Hawaii
- Thule Air Base, Greenland
The mission is described on the Garrison’s official site as including carrying out missions in “eight of the nine functional space deltas and more than 80 mission partners across 22 world-wide locations through the provision of integrated USSF and United States Air Force Base Operating Support”.
Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station
Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station was placed under the jurisdiction of US Space Command; the official site for the station states that NORAD and USNORTHCOM use just under 30% of the floor space within the complex and comprise approximately 5% of the daily population at Cheyenne Mountain. The facility is used as an alternate command center facility and as a training site for NORAD and USNORTHCOM.
Los Angeles SFB, California
Los Angeles Space Force Base in El Segundo, California is home to the Space and Missile Systems Center and is considered a center of excellence for military space systems. SMC’s mission is to deliver resilient and affordable space capabilities. The mission includes “on-orbit check-out” plus maintenance of DoD space-based systems such as satellite groups.
Vandenberg AFB, California
Vandenberg AFB, roughly 14 miles from Lompoc, California, is home to the 30th Space Wing, and supports West Coast launch activities for private industry in addition to missions for Space Force, Air Force, Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, etc.
Vandenberg AFB operations include launching Atlas V, Delta IV, Delta II, Pegasus, Minotaur, Taurus and Falcons. Testing and evaluation of ICBM platforms and Missile Defense Agency operations also fall under the mission at Vandenberg.
Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida
On December 9, 2020, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and Patrick AFB in Florida were both redesignated as Space Force bases in a ceremony held at Cape Canaveral. The change, as reported by Spacenews.com, was largely ceremonial, changing the bases in name only.
That said, the Chief of Space Operations was quoted at the time saying that the move would begin a new phase for both installations as the renaming was, in the view of the DoD, a move toward “aligning the installation names with their critical missions”.
Cape Canaveral Space Force Station is part of the USSF 45th Space Wing and headquartered at Patrick AFB in Florida. Considered the main location for launches for the Space Force “Eastern Range”, Cape Canaveral features three launch pads active. There is also a 10,000 foot runway for military aircraft. The private company SpaceX has in the past rented launch facilities there.
Patrick Space Force Base, Florida
As mentioned above, in December, 2020, a history-making ceremony redesignated Patrick AFB and Cape Canaveral as Space Force bases–these were the first two redesignations to happen under USSF.
Home of the 45th Space Wing, Patrick Space Force Base is also responsible for Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (see above) for the Eastern Range. Part of that includes radar, telemetry and communications instrumentation support “to facilitate the safe launch” of space-based assets for “all Department of Defense National Security Space, National Aeronautics Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, commercial and Naval Ordnance Test Unit” missions.
The Patrick Space Force Base official site notes that the 45th Space Wing supported 23 major launches in 2016, with higher goals each successive year. In 2021, Patrick SFB goals included support for 48 launches total.