COLORADO
SPRINGS

THE CRADLE OF SPACE TECHNOLOGY

-a democrat vision for el paso county-

We are in the Great Reinvention era where people, business, and society reinvent their purpose to thrive during times of constant change and uncertainty. In response, a transformational vision can be adopted to create an enduring and resilient knowledge-based economy where space technology innovation soars proudly.

The realization of this vision will strengthen bipartisan partnerships and improve critical infrastructure resiliency. Elected officials, government organizations, industry, technology incubators, small businesses, workforce training, entrepreneurs, startups, academia, and venture capital can deliberately intersect with the aerospace and defense industry to create community, spark innovation, and stimulate business growth towards:

MAKING EL PASO COUNTY THE NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY CRADLE FOR
SPACE INNOVATION AND HOMELAND DEFENSE

WHAT IS SPACE TECHNOLOGY?

Our nation’s space technology integrated ecosystem enables the layered sensing grid and resilient communication infrastructure that provides persistent domain awareness from the seabed to space and includes cyberspace.

Space technology is a strategic asset for our homeland defense. It is an integrated deterrence, commercial innovation, and industry collaboration area that is critical to the fabric that we depend on in every aspect of our life. While classified operations may fly under the radar, innovation is trumpeted proudly in Colorado Springs. American companies such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing Aerospace, Raytheon Technologies, SAIC, Collins Aerospace, and others employ over 80,000 professionals, including scientists, engineers, and other staff that are developing and delivering critical capabilities in support of our continental and homeland defense.

Space technology used in the management of space isn’t exclusive to rockets or satellites. Space technology refers to critical infrastructure, cloud computing systems, and artificial intelligence that Space Force and other Federal agencies use to manage space-based assets and process data and imagery generated by space- based sensors.

Colorado Springs and El Paso County are home to five military installations, and host numerous Combatant Commands (COCOMS) and other national defense centers, including U.S. Space Operations Command (USSPOC), North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC), Missile Defense Integration and Operations Center (MDIOC) and the Joint Interagency Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC), the U.S.–led multinational space operations center that provides command and control of for United States Space Command’s Combined Force Space Component Command.

UCCS and the Colorado School of Mines have both recognized the need to support the professionals that manage this technology and have introduced Space Operations and Space Resources post-baccalaureate programs.

FOUNDATIONAL ISSUES

This vision of a space-focused, knowledge-based economy cannot be realized without also simultaneously acknowledging and addressing critical foundational issues on the ground. Keeping citizens safe on the ground requires those on the ground protecting us to be healthy at all levels. This requires infrastructure investment in ways we have not yet seen.

  • Affordable Housing – Both the people directly supporting space technology development and operations and the people powering the local service economy must have affordable, comfortable, and safe homes.
  • Public and Private Transportation – Public and private transportation infrastructure must be robust and expansive to support the growth of technology industries, space operations organizations, and the local population.
  • Water Scarcity – Industries and economies cannot grow in environments where water is scarce.
  • Active Duty and Veterans Services – Space Force is staffed by uniformed service members who will require improved access to healthcare and other support services. Expansion of the Department of Defense SkillBridge program and other similar upskilling services should also be considered.
  • Education and Employment Pipeline – Realizing a vision of this magnitude will require a steady flow of educated, equipped workers. Those workers should be Coloradans as much as possible.
  • Authoritarian “Home Rule” Plans – Recent mention by county commissioners of implementing “home rule” in El Paso County, and the authoritarian, discriminatory social issues that would accompany it, would be antithetical to this vision.

The Silicon Valley region of California originated with military and government research and technology development. With Colorado Springs predicted to overtake Denver as Colorado’s largest city within 10-15 years, the County can exploit that population growth by proactively adopting a coherent vision instead of reacting to problems and challenges. Colorado Springs can be more than just a commuter town for Denver, which is a distinct possibility unless we choose to establish our own economy and our own vision.

A NATIONAL SECURITY PERSPECTIVE

The United States face significant national security challenges, the likes of which we have not seen since the Cold War. Whether considering technological challenges, political extremism, industrial base considerations, and deeply entrenched lack of cultural transformation urgency, adversaries are rapidly eroding security advantages enjoyed by the US over the last three decades.

Our nation’s competitors and potential adversaries have watched the United States and our way of deterring, competing, and conducting war. They have adapted and developed advanced capabilities in all domains challenging us at home and across the competition continuum, and holding at risk our people and our critical infrastructure.

For decades, our nation has enjoyed the benefits of dominant military capabilities in all domains and we relied on our geography to serve as a barrier to keep our nation beyond the reach of most conventional threats. Our ability to project influence forward along with our technological overmatch has allowed us to fight forward and focus our energy on conducting operations overseas. However, whether the threats come from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, violent extremist organizations, or transnational criminal organizations (TCOs), significant challenges persist. This environment requires a culture change across the political spectrum. A change that places our security and wellbeing above all political, religious, or corporate affiliations.