Space Squadron Destined for Kaua‘iNovember 4, 2019, 3:54 PM HST (Updated November 4, 2019, 3:54 PM)
The United States Air Force will place its new space squadron on the island Kaua‘i.
The Air Force announced Monday it has approved Barking Sands Pacific Missile Range Facility as the preferred alternative for the Air National Guard’s Space Control Squadron. By selecting a site on Kaua‘i, the Air Force will create a new, highly technical squadron to monitor US satellites in support of the national security space mission, ensuring that the military and other national security agencies have access to satellite communication, intelligence and key information.
The unit will also support 88 new Hawai‘i Air National Guard positions, including 29 full-time positions and 59 part-time, drill-status positions.
“This decision reaffirms the importance of Hawai‘i’s strategic role in our national security and is proof that the men and women of Hawai‘i’s Air National Guard are the best in the world,” said US Senator Brian Schatz, lead Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. “While this new unit will help strengthen the Air Force’s space capabilities and advance our national security interests, it also means more federal funds for the state and more opportunities for local jobs.”
The Air Force anticipates completing the basing process by summer 2020, with the squadron becoming partially operational in fiscal year (FY) 2021 and then fully operational by FY 2022.