Rocket City could be top contender for U.S. Space Force

WAAY 31's MaryLee Melendez sat down with Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle Monday to learn more about how the Rocket City could be the driving force the new military branch needs.

Posted: Jul 30, 2018 6:30 PM

When you're driving into Huntsville, you know you've made it when you see the towering rocket in the sky. A site that shows the history of space, and now with the potential for a new branch of military in the U.S. Space Force, a city that could be the future of space.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle feels confident when the time comes Huntsville will be a top contender for the newest branch of military, the U.S. Space force.

"We have all the essential elements you need for a space force sitting right here in Huntsville."

Those essentials elements being NASA, Missile Defense Agency, Space and Missile Defense Agency, and Redstone Arsenal. Making what Battle calls a perfect fit for the Space Force to call home.

When it comes to a timeline though Battle told me we could see movement as soon as the next three months but it is ultimately in the hands of Congress. Once there's a budget they will get the ball rolling immediately in the Rocket City.

"As soon as it get's budgeted and becomes a reality, we'd start working with them. First thoughts...Research park, Redstone Arsenal, Marshall Space Flight Center, all of those are great assets so we can pull all of those together at one time."

The lingering question is what agency would run the newest military branch. Huntsville engineer and military reservist Trace Linquist tells WAAY 31 he thinks the Air Force would be the best option to grow off of.

"The Air Force started off being part of the Army and it broke away so it might be the air force's turn to start a small branch within and let them grow."

But with critics on both sides of party lines there is high scrutiny and it's even become the bud of some jokes...

"The Space Force to me sounds a little absurd, but this is the prime place to have it. If anyone knows about space it's gonna be us."

Something Mayor Battle says people need to take more seriously...

"People need to remember...people laughed when John F. Kennedy mentioned NASA. When he mentioned going into space and taking a man to the moon and back, we need to realize the potential that we have and those potentials have benefits that are very high reaching."

Mayor battle also told WAAY 31 he thinks Huntsville's biggest competition would probably be Colorado Springs; home to the Air Force Academy, a number of defense industry corporations and the Space Foundation.

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