Six locations, including four Air Force installations, have made the first round of cuts for those being considered for the new headquarters of U.S. Space Command, the Air Force announced.They include Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, Offutt AFB in Nebraska, Patrick AFB in Florida, Peterson AFB in Colorado, Redstone Army Airfield in Alabama and Port San Antonio in Texas. Port San Antonio was home to the former Kelly Air Force Base and currently hosts Air National Guard and reserve operations.“Self-nominated communities from across twenty-four states were evaluated as potential locations for hosting the headquarters,” the Air Force said in a news release.“The Department of the Air Force evaluated each location and will now conduct both virtual and on-site visits at each candidate location to assess which location is best suited to host the U.S. Space Command Headquarters,” the Air Force statement says. “This assessment will be based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, and costs to the Department of Defense.”But getting to the six finalists wasn’t easy, Defense News reports. “At times, the competition among cities has been politically contentious.”When a memo listing potential locations was leaked to the media in 2019, which included four bases in Colorado, Florida lawmakers lobbied Air Force officials to reconsider and include Florida on the list.U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, a Republican who sits on the House Armed Services and Science, Space and Technology committees told The Associated Press that the initial list “was very opaque, it was not well defined, and kind of out of the blue – Florida was completely excluded.”By March of this year, Space Force Vice Commander Lt. Gen. David Thompson told the House Armed Services Committee that a search for a new location was starting over and new criteria was announced.The final six locations being considered include only one location in Colorado, the current headquarters for Space Command, and one location in Florida, reflecting successful lobbying by the Florida delegation.The six potential locations are more geographically representative, located in the south and west: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Cape Canaveral, Florida; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Huntsville, Alabama; and San Antonio, Texas.In June, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Air Force John Henderson thanking him for considering Texas as one of the locations.Upon hearing the announcement on Thursday, Abbott said the Air Force would find no better location than Port San Antonio.“Not only does the state of Texas have the resources, universities, and human capital necessary to support the Space Command, but we are also enriched by our long-standing and celebrated tradition of military service and innovation in Texas,” Abbott said.Waltz argues Florida is the best choice.“Space is in our DNA,” he said. “It has been for the last five decades. It’s all right here.”NASA, SpaceX and universities that focus on engineering are based in both Florida and Texas, and both have strong military presences, making them competitive.But the Colorado delegation argues that Peterson Air Force Base, the current Space Command headquarters, should be its permanent home. Colorado’s congressional delegation and state leaders have lobbied the Trump administration to keep the headquarters in the state.“U.S. Space Command should stay here where it has already found a home among our strong military community, thriving aerospace industry, and world-class academic and research institutions,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement.Since 1982, Peterson Air Force Base has been home to the Air Force Space Command.The U.S. Space Command was reactivated Aug. 29, 2019, as a unified combatant command to potentially fight wars in space. It was created as part of a $738 billion defense spending bill and is the first military branch to be added to the U.S. Armed Services since the Air Force was created in 1947. TAGSAir ForceFinalistsHeadquartersSpace ForceStatesThe Center Square Previous articleFlorida Dept. of Health recognizes Diabetes Awareness Month, provides stats and resourcesNext articleCARES portal for $1000 assistance re-opens November 24 at 8:00 a.m. Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Out of 24 self-nominated states, six were chosen as finalists, including FloridaBy Bethany Blankley | The Center Square In this photo released by the U.S. Air Force, Col. Todd Benson, the U.S. Air Force Central Command director of space forces, center, leads airmen through their enlistment ceremony as they became members of the Space Force at Al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. Space Force, the first new U.S. military service since the creation of the Air Force in 1947, now has some 20 members stationed at the Qatari base in its first foreign deployment. Photo by Staff Sgt. 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to go further MyanmarAsia – Pacific Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independence Armed conflictsImprisonedInternetFreedom of expressionExiled mediaJudicial harassmentViolence MyanmarAsia – Pacific Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independence Armed conflictsImprisonedInternetFreedom of expressionExiled mediaJudicial harassmentViolence Receive email alerts News Police fire tear gas as they attempt to disperse protesters taking part in a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on February 27, 2021 (credit: AFP). RSF asks Germany to let Myanmar journalist Mratt Kyaw Thu apply for asylum Help by sharing this information Ten days after the information ministry told media to stop using the terms “junta” and “coup d’état” or face sanctions, the Myanmar Times suddenly suspended operations on 21 February “for three months,” according to the welcome message on its website. The website of the newspaper The Voice has not been updated since 1 March. March 25, 2021 Myanmar’s military junta eliminates independent media May 31, 2021 Find out more RSF_en Myanmar is ranked 139th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. Thein Zaw, an Associated Press journalist held for more than three weeks, was finally released yesterday after charges were dropped against him. He had been violently arrested while photographing policemen during a demonstration on 27 February. Robert Bociaga, a Polish photo-journalist arrested nearly two weeks ago, was also released yesterday and is awaiting deportation. Thai premier, UN rapporteurs asked to prevent journalists being returned to Myanmar The military had to use stronger pressure to get two other newspapers, 7 Day News and Eleven, to stop publishing. It was only after the military authorities rescinded their licences on 8 March that they resigned themselves to stop publishing. The Eleven group nonetheless continues to post news on its website. “After targeting the newspapers, the military authorities led by Gen. Min Aung Hlaing are now blocking the digital domain in order to prevent Myanmar’s people from keeping informed about the military’s bloody crackdown on demonstrators. We urge them to immediately restore press freedom, restore Internet networks and stop targeting the journalists still daring to report in the field.” May 12, 2021 Find out more Hide or flee Last week, RSF referred the military crackdown on media and journalists to the UN special rapporteurs on the human rights situation in Myanmar and on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. US journalist held in Yangon prison notorious for torture May 26, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Myanmar One of the two, BBC correspondent Aung Thura, was released on 22 March after three days of interrogation and sleep deprivation. Like other reporters, he had to sign an undertaking to stop covering the events taking place in Myanmar. The other, Mizzima News journalist Than Htike Aung, is still being held. Of the at least 45 journalists arrested since the coup, 25 have been released. The others are still held. Other journalists have been the targets of reprisals for covering the protests against the military government. Two were abducted on 19 March while following the trial of Win Htein, one of the leaders of the National League for Democracy (NLD), the party whose government was brought down by the coup. “The actions taken by the military junta to eliminate news pluralism and press freedom and to persecute those journalists trying against all odds to keep working have unfortunately succeeded and access to news and information has not been in such danger in Myanmar since its democratisation in 2011,” RSF editor-in-chief Pauline Adès-Mével said. There is no longer a free press in Myanmar. The only print media have been official newspapers controlled by the military since 17 March, after the last independent daily in circulation, The Standard Time (San Taw Chain in Burmese), took the same decision as its four rivals and suspended its print edition, citing distribution problems since the coup. Finally, the military authorities are now imposing drastic restrictions on access to the Internet, which was the only way to see reliable, independent reporting. Fixed-line Internet is disconnected every night, mobile Internet has been blocked for the past 11 days, and access to public Wi-Fi networks has been reduced for the past week, according to the Internet freedom watchdog NetBlocks. Organisation News access endangered The military authorities have meanwhile been carrying our raids and equipment seizures – on 8 March at the offices of the Myanmar Now news agency and then, the next day, at the offices of the Mizzima News multimedia news group and the Kamayut Media video news website. The latter’s licence was not rescinded but two of its executives, Nathan Maung and Han Thar Nyein, have been arrested, preventing it from continuing to operate. News The only solution envisaged by most journalists to avoid arrest and police violence is to hide or flee to the remotest regions. According to The Irrawaddy, hundreds of journalists have chosen one or other of these options and, despite all the problems, some are continuing to work. Others have fled to regions that are rebel strongholds, such as the eastern state of Karen. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the restoration of media pluralism and unrestricted Internet access in Myanmar, where the military, in the weeks since staging a coup d’état on 1 February, have reasserted full control over news and information – engineering the disappearance of the last independent newspapers and imposing tight curbs on online access. News News Legal proceedings were initiated against the online media The Irrawaddy on 14 March under article 505 (a) of the penal code. This article has often been used to convict journalists critical of the military but this is the first time that an entire news organisation has been targeted. Ten journalists are currently facing up to three years in prison for covering the street protests against the coup.
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