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Shepherd: Space Command belongs in Bossier Parish

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As an oil executive, I appreciate the jobs that the oil & gas industry provides to our region. I also understand that we need to actively recruit all avenues of job creation for Bossier Parish. There is one such opportunity in the bid to become the home for the newest military branch, the U.S. Space Force.

In a letter to President Trump, Congressman Ralph Abraham outlined why Barksdale Air Force Base, Global Strike Command is the optimal site for the new military force to be stationed and I wholeheartedly agree when he says, “Space Command would fit perfectly within AFGSC’s mission of innovation, strategic deterrence and global strike and combat support.”

The Department of Defense’s budget for fiscal year 2020 asks for $270 million for a stand-alone U.S. Space Command, including $64 million for it’s headquarters. The economic benefit to our region would be incredible with boosts to virtually every existing industry and business in Bossier Parish.

Wes Shepherd

This is a tremendous opportunity for us to showcase our very own Barksdale Air Force Base and Global Strike Command as the most fitting to lead Space Command into the new frontier of jobs and technology.

Not only do we already have the military infrastructure in place to serve the needs of Space Command, Bossier Parish has a thriving information-technology sector that already serves as a strategic partner to the U.S. military like General Dynamics who acquisitioned CSRA.

Jobs in technology and the future of Barksdale AFB are key to our continued growth. Our higher education institutions like Louisiana Tech University, LSUS and Bossier Parish Community College are leading the way in preparing our work force for this enormous opportunity.

I encourage the Louisiana delegation to make their voices loud and clear that Barksdale AFB should be a main contender for Space Command. I also encourage residents of Bossier Parish to contact their U.S. Representative and Senators to encourage them to do the same.

Wes Shepherd is COO of Chanse Energy Corp and a candidate for Police Jury, District 3.