Representatives of Vandenberg Space Force Base unveiled their new Phase One Commercial Master Plan during the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, detailing ways to expand the base’s infrastructure and bring more jobs to the Central Coast.
Vandenberg’s master plan comes as interest in the launch market is on the uptick globally. By 2027, the market is expected to breach $30 billion, with the United States capturing about 40% of the market.
Vandenberg is seen as a key geographical location in the Western Range, with potential for the creation of a mission development zone.
“Vandenberg is the world’s premiere site for polar orbit launch, and that launch is forecast to increase significantly in the coming years,” Andrew Hackleman, vice president of REACH and a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, told the supervisors Tuesday.
With investment in space exploration and missions expected to grow, Vandenberg has outlined three goals within its master plan to grow its identity on the Central Coast.
The goals include increasing the number of space industry businesses and jobs, attracting and retaining new talent with skills suited to a technologically driven workforce, and establishing a reputation as a space technology and innovation hub.
According to an analysis, Vandenberg employs nearly 13,500 individuals and produces $4.7 billion in economic impact. By 2025, the base expects to expand its employee base by 2,000 people and increase its economic output to $5.3 billion.
In addition to increasing employment, Vandenberg is considering various infrastructure development options to expand and update infrastructure on its 100,000 acre base.
By opening more opportunities and expanding Vandenberg’s base, officials are hopeful this will increase space activities on the Central Coast as the space industry blasts off into the future.
“We want to (increase space activities here) because we want to be part of the future and part of innovation, but we also want prosperity for Central Coast residents in future, high-tech industries,” Mr. Hackleman said.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the Board of Supervisors also considered recommendations for an upcoming Juneteenth Celebration and a community report about “Work Being Done for the Advancement of Black and African American Equity in Santa Barbara County.” The board also passed a resolution Tuesday declaring Saturday at Juneteenth in Santa Barbara County, which will commemorate the freeing of enslaved people in the U.S.
During the meeting, supervisors also unanimously approved the appointment of Kim DuFore as director of the board of the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District.