U.S. Reps. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, and Adam Smith, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, visited Vandenberg Space Force Base Saturday.
They toured the Combined Force Space Component Command and the Space Launch Complex 6 launch site.
During the visit, the lawmakers discussed the need for federal investment to improve the base’s infrastructure to create additional launch opportunities. Rep. Carbajal has repeatedly advocated for this funding in annual defense bills, according to a news release from his office.
The congressmen’s tour included Mission Development Zone, an unused strip of land north of Ocean Avenue. It’s designed to serve as an enterprise zone outside the base.
“It was an honor to have Chairman Smith at Vandenberg Space Force Base this weekend so he could witness firsthand the important work being done on the Central Coast to enhance our national security and strengthen our economy,” Rep. Carbajal said in a news release. “Our district is privileged to host the premiere West Coast launch site for military, civil and commercial space operations, and I am proud to have used my seat on the Armed Services Committee to bring home federal resources that help the base fulfill its missions and compete in a 21st century economy.”
Rep. Carbajal said he will continue to work with Rep. Smith to secure federal resources to support the base and create good-paying jobs in the community to offset positions lost when the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant closes.
Rep. Smith, a Washington state Democrat whose district office is in the Seattle area, said, “As we work through this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, I will continue to support the Space Force Range of the Future initiative — which this base will play a vital role in.”
The House has passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, which includes funding to improve launch infrastructure at Vandenberg Space Force Base. Following Senate passage, the bill is expected to go through a conference committee before being enacted into law.