Rep. Carbajal Welcomes Vice President Harris to Vandenberg Space Force Base
Lompoc, April 18, 2022
Today, Congressman Salud Carbajal welcomed Vice President Kamala Harris to the Central Coast on a visit to Vandenberg Space Force Base (VSFB) and highlighted the pivotal role the base plays in advancing the United States’ military, civil, and commercial space capabilities.
The Vice President and Rep. Carbajal, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, joined senior Department of Defense officials for meetings with Space Force Guardians and a tour of the Combined Space Operations Center, the operational command and control center for coordinating all U.S. space operations.
After the tour, Rep. Carbajal spoke to a group of Vandenberg personnel and local officials and stakeholders gathered to welcome the Vice President to VSFB.
In his remarks, he highlighted the value of Vandenberg to the United States’ goals in space and the local communities that will benefit from keeping Vandenberg as the leading site for U.S. space operations on the West Coast.
“As we see growing interest in space–from our national security, civil, and commercial worlds–the Central Coast is working around the clock to make Vandenberg that Range of the Future that can support these growing industries,” said Rep. Carbajal. “When I travel through the communities that are near here, I not only see how perfect Vandenberg is for this mission, because of how close it already is cutting-edge aerospace industries, not to mention some of the world’s top research universities as well. But I also see how ensuring Vandenberg remains a leader in space operations will create good-paying jobs and bring important investments to the folks here on the ground, across the Central Coast.”
Carbajal and Vice President Harris were joined by Commander of Combined Force Space Component Command Major General DeAnna M. Burt, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, Chief of Space Operations General John Raymond, Commander of U.S. Space Command General James Dickinson, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), and Second Gentlemen of the United States Douglas Emhoff.
Using his role as Vice Chair for the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, which has jurisdiction over Department of Defense space programs and long-range missile defense systems, Carbajal has lauded Vandenberg’s capacities and pushed for federal resources for the base and support the base’s initiatives.
He has repeatedly advocated for Vandenberg to be selected as the permanent location for the U.S. Space Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM).
In March, Rep. Carbajal voted for and President Biden signed into law a $20 million increase to Spacelift Range System, which will improve the infrastructure at ranges including the Western Range at Vandenberg Space Force Base.
The 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law in December, included a Carbajal-led measure requiring the Chief of Space Operations to report to Congress on the Range of the Future initiative and how physical infrastructure needs at Vandenberg will be addressed.
In October 2021, Rep. Carbajal hosted Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, for a tour of Vandenberg that included the Combined Force Space Component Command (CFSCC), VSFB’s Mission Development Zone, and Space Launch Complex 6 launch site.