Space Force Headquarters could mean new possibilities for STEM careers in Alabama

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Huntsville, Alabama was selected as the preferred location for the U.S. Space Command Headquarters.

The command is currently set up and running out of Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, which is also a finalist location. If Hunstville is chosen, it means 1,600 more jobs, as well as more federal funding and resources, brought into Alabama.

Redstone Arsenal was chosen out of 60 sites across the U.S. as the best location for the space command headquarters. While the decision is not yet finalized, students looking into STEM careers are ready to apply.

Javen Bies-Dupree is a sophomore at Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering. He said this announcement had him excited for the years ahead.

“Huntsville has done a very good job to keep up that [space] expansion,” he said.

Javen plans on becoming a space systems officer for the Space Force.

“I feel like they’re really making a good part and a big impact on us coming into the economy or working society,” he said.

Javen said the news of the headquarters potentially being located in Huntsville means the opportunity to pursue his dreams in his home state.

“I just want to know if I come back home, I can still do the things I love in my home town or my home state,” he said.

For all STEM careers, a Huntsville headquarters could have students reconsidering their college majors.

“It’s definitely going to have a major impact in terms of funding and access,” said Dr. Calvin Briggs Sr., the executive director of The Southern Center for Broadening Participation in STEM. “It’s going to help increase STEM interest among our students across the state of Alabama, and surely beyond.”

The space command center will remain in Colorado for at least the next six years before a transition begins to its permanent home.

The final decision on the location for the U.S. Space Command Center will be announced in 2023. President Trump established the Space Command in December 2019.


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