WATCH: President Biden gives Air Force Academy commencement speech

President Joe Biden will deliver the commencement address Thursday morning to the nearly 1,000 graduating cadets from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

He is the ninth sitting president to deliver the commencement address to the academy since its first graduating class in 1959. It will be Biden’s third time addressing the next generation of military officers to come from the Air Force Academy. He gave two commencement speeches there as vice president.

You can watch the ceremony when it begins via this livestream from Youtube:

This time, Biden’s speech comes as the future of the U.S. Space Force headquarters hangs in the air. On Wednesday, as Biden headed to Colorado Springs, the Air Force announced it would permanently base four more Space Force missions there. More than 20 of the military’s space missions are now based in Colorado Springs, according to the Associated Press.

The U.S. Space Force and Air Force are separate branches of the military, but both are under the Department of the Air Force. The Air Force Academy graduates Space Force Guardians alongside Air Force cadets. Of the 510 graduates with service assignments, 93 will enter the Space Force.

Colorado Springs currently houses Space Command’s temporary headquarters and was the Air Force’s preferred spot for a permanent base. Donald Trump, in the final days of his presidency, selected Alabama instead. Keeping Space Command in Colorado Springs has been a rallying cry for Colorado’s lawmakers.

In a joint statement, U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper underscored the role Colorado Springs already plays in Space Force operations and the broader military and defense industry.

“Our state is the nexus of America’s defense and space missions and boasts a highly-skilled civilian workforce, a robust defense industry, and several world-class universities,” the senators, both Democrats, said. “As President Biden and his administration near a final basing decision for Space Command, we urge them to restore the integrity of this process and make a decision in the interest of our national security — to keep Space Command in Colorado Springs.”

Colorado Springs Congressman Doug Lamborn, a Republican, called the decision to permanently base more districts there proof that it is “the premier location for our nation’s space defense operations.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Stay up-to-date with Colorado Politics by signing up for our weekly newsletter, The Spot.

Source: Read Full Article