TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Vice President Mike Pence announced Wednesday that Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base have been renamed as part of the new military branch Space Force.
“Today we make history with the first two installations in the history of the United States Space Force to bear the name of this new branch of the service,” Pence said shortly after arriving at Cape Canaveral.
The new names are Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Patrick Space Force Base.
The name changes, ordered by the Trump administration, had been on hold through an agreement between Congress and Air Force officials, pending completion of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which is before Congress.
Trump has threatened to veto the $740.5 billion defense bill for not including a repeal of a law that shields internet companies from being liable for postings and for directing the military to establish a commission to rename bases named after Confederate leaders.
Pence’s announcement came as he was in Florida to attend a meeting of the National Space Council at Kennedy Space Center. Pence is chairman of the council.
The online news site Defense One reported that the bases will continue to be managed by the Department of the Air Force and that new signs, at a cost of $50,000 to taxpayers, will go up at each base.
On Tuesday, Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello told the Enterprise Florida Board of Directors that Florida has made a “very strong case” for the Patrick base to be the permanent U.S. Space Command headquarters.
The base, south of Cape Canaveral in Brevard County, is one of six finalists to be command headquarters for Space Force.
Other potential sites are Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, Port San Antonio in Texas and Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.
SPACECOM, established in August 2019, remains temporarily housed at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.
A final decision is expected early next year.