WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) are welcoming the announcement that the Department of the Air Force has selected Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M. as the preferred location for Space Delta 11, a new training mission that will fall under the U.S. Space Force Training and Readiness Command (STARCOM).
“While New Mexico has always been at the forefront of space exploration, the selection of STARCOM’s Delta 11 to be based in New Mexico marks a significant milestone in our journey towards becoming a key hub for cutting-edge space technology,” said Luján.“I’m thrilled to welcome Delta 11 and its advanced range and combat replication capabilities, which will not only enhance our national security but also provide unparalleled opportunities for local talent, job growth, and economic development. I look forward to the incredible possibilities that Delta 11 will bring to New Mexico.”
“Landing the Space Delta 11 mission at Kirtland Air Force Base is a big deal for New Mexico. It will bring hundreds of jobs into our state and grow the space and defense ecosystem that we’ve been investing in for years,” said Heinrich. “New Mexico has world-class public and private space innovators and an exceptional workforce training pipeline. We are the ideal place to build our military’s future in space, and this mission gives us a real foothold to do that.”
Space Delta 11’s training mission is to deliver realistic, threat-informed test and training environments through the provision of live, virtual, and constructive range and combat replication capability in order to prepare U.S. Space Force, joint, and allied forces to prevail in a Contested, Degraded, and Operationally-Limited (CDO) environment.
The Department of the Air Force will now conduct environmental impact analyses at each base that has been selected for new training missions. The Air Force expects to complete these reviews later this year before making final basing decisions.
Once approved, the Delta 11 training mission will begin to stand up at Kirtland in the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2024, with an aim for full operational capability in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2026. Currently, Delta 11 is projected to create 225 military and civilian jobs by Fiscal Year 2025.