Sterling Heights is putting its hand up to be the future headquarters for the United States Space Command. On Tuesday, Mayor Michael Taylor submitted a nomination on behalf of the city, co-signed by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, for consideration of the city as a headquarter location.
The city’s proximity to Selfridge Air National Guard Base and strong defense presence within Macomb County are factors cited in support of the nomination. Sterling Heights officials also point to the city's industrial base, skilled workforce, and strategic geographic location.
“When the city’s nomination is scored, we are confident that Sterling Heights will be a prime location,” said Taylor. “There is a rich heritage in this region for defense assets and this is a strong foundation for this new undertaking.”
The U.S. Space Command, a combatant center for the Pentagon-based U.S. Space Force, is the newest of eleven commands in the Department of Defense and is temporarily headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. The U.S. Air Force estimates a six-year process to ready a new headquarters, and plans to announce the new location early 2021. A new headquarters would see an estimated 1400 military and civilian personnel working at the facility.
To be eligible for consideration, cities have to meet a criteria that includes a population base within the top 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S., a location within 25 miles of a military base, and a "livability" index score of at least 50 points out of 100, determined by the American Association of Retired Persons Public Policy Institute.
Hackel said he believes Macomb County is an ideal location for the new headquarters, and Sterling Heights in particular, with its ties to the defense industry.
"We stand ready to illustrate our competitive advantage and showcase the inspiring capabilities we have right here in Macomb."