The United States Air Force has selected Barking Sands Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai as its preferred alternative for the Air National Guard’s Space Control Squadron.

According to a press release Monday from the office of U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, the Air Force will create “a new, highly technical squadron to monitor U.S. satellites in support of the national security space mission, ensuring that the military and other national security agencies have access to satellite communication, intelligence, and key information.”

The squadron will also support 88 new Hawaii Air National Guard positions.

The Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands on Kauai is the planned home for a space control squadron. Polihale/Wikimedia Commons

“This decision reaffirms the importance of Hawaii’s strategic role in our national security and is proof that the men and women of Hawaii’s Air National Guard are the best in the world,” said Schatz, lead Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, in a press release.

Schatz added, “While this new unit will help strengthen the Air Force’s space capabilities and advance our national security interests, it also means more federal funds for the state and more opportunities for local jobs.”

The basing process is expected to be competed by summer 2020, with the squadron becoming partially operational in fiscal year 2021 and fully operational by 2022.

Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami welcomed the news.

“We welcome the additional employment opportunities for our local folks, particularly in the areas of science, math, and technology,” he said in the release.

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