Coming soon to a city near you: U.S. Space Command? Sterling Heights in Macomb County is working on a proposal to become the new home of the United States Space Command headquarters. The agency will oversee Space Force, a new independent branch of the military established late last year.
Sterling Heights already has a number of defense contractors working in the city, including BAE Systems and General Dynamics, whose headquarters are located in the city. Mayor Michael Taylor says that is evidence that the city is well equipped for this new opportunity.
“Our county executive Mark Hackel refers to this area as the “arsenal of democracy” and proudly declares that Macomb County is already the defense capital of the Midwest and possibly the United States,” Taylor said.
The proposal is a joint effort between Sterling Heights, Macomb County, and Selfridge Air National Guard Base. In order to apply, cities had to meet certain criteria, including close proximity to a military base and livability standards. Taylor says that Sterling Heights has met those criteria and now is working on putting together their formal proposal to send to the U.S. Air Force, which is overseeing the process. Landing the Space Command headquarters would bring an estimated 1,400 military and civilian jobs to the area, which Taylor said could have even bigger ripple effects for the city, county, and state's economy.
Other cities in the running include Dayton, Ohio and Palmdale, California, both of which are home to major U.S. Air Force bases. But Taylor says he has no doubt that Sterling Heights will be able to compete with those cities.
“I know this is going to be a very competitive process, and we’re going to get stiff competition from different areas, but we’re proud to tell the story of what we have here in Macomb County and Sterling Heights,” Taylor said. “Our proximity to the talent and infrastructure makes Michigan and Macomb County uniquely qualified in my opinion.”
This article was written by Stateside production assistant Olive Scott.