(COLORADO SPRINGS) — One by one, at America the Beautiful Park, government officials along with Colorado Springs community leaders and families arrived to celebrate the news of Space Command’s headquarters remaining in Colorado Springs.
The Colorado Springs Chamber & Economic Development Corporation (EDC) organized the celebration as a way for the community to come together over the announcement of the permanent location of Space Command.
“This is transformational for the Colorado Springs and El Paso community,” said President of Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC, Johnna Reeder Kleymeyer. “This has been years in the making. It’s been hard fought, and we thought it was important for everyone to come together, including the community, and celebrate a win.”
Kleymeyer addressed the timeliness of the event: “so our decision to have a celebration today is not premature, the permanent basing decision has been made in the interest of National Security.”
Governor Jared Polis shared his delight in the decision to not relocate Space Command.
“I’m feeling joy and relief, like relief that this long process is not only over, but that we won and we won for the country, in terms of our military preparedness, and we won for Colorado Springs, and for the state of Colorado,” Polis said. “So, it’s wonderful now that all the people that worked on this – Republicans, Democrats, military civilians – coming together and just really taking that moment to celebrate what we’ve accomplished for the Pikes Peak region and for our state.”
In reference to military preparedness, Polis shared why keeping Space Command in Colorado Springs is the right decision.
“I’m really glad, especially with everything going on in Ukraine, potential Chinese aggression in Taiwan, this is really important to fulfill the mission that we don’t uproot this and place it somewhere else,” Polis said. “Secondly, this is important for all of Colorado and our aerospace industry. It’s not just about the presence of Space Command. It’s about all of the contractors. It’s about all the research and development. It’s about the innovative Colorado spirit, the families that are cheering on the decisions today, both here and abroad.”
When looking out on the crowd, several children could be spotted including Winston Fulson, who is the sixth generation of his family to live in Colorado Springs. He was very excited about Colorado Springs being the headquarters for Space Command.
When it comes to inspiring the future workforce in aerospace and defense, Colorado Springs is the place where it can happen.
“We have some of the best higher ed programs on space and aerospace of anywhere in the country,” Senator Michael Bennet said. “But you know what, that starts in middle school and the opportunity for our middle school kids to be able to meet with people that really are rocket engineers, to meet with people that are flying satellites every single day in space. That’s what fires kids’ imaginations and that’s what’s going to build the workforce that we’re going to need in Colorado to make sure we sustain our leadership in space.”
Several Colorado leaders addressed the immense impact this news has on the whole community.
“It is a wonderful moment for the whole state to celebrate, but to see all the families here, people from, it’s not just all over Colorado Springs, all over the region coming here to say ‘this matters’,” said Senator John Hickenlooper. “These are going to be the jobs that attract small businesses here. Those small businesses will attract more small businesses. These are the kinds of successes that lead to hundreds and thousands of more successes down the road.”
Mayor Yemi Mobolade spoke on the team effort behind this achievement and mentioned former Mayor John Suthers for his determination for this project to succeed.
When looking toward the future of Colorado Springs, Mobolade shared his belief in how greater things are yet to come to the city.
“Well, friends, let this victory that we celebrate today serve as a shining example of what’s possible when we work together for the betterment of our community and the betterment of one another,” said Mobolade.