Pence announces Space Force bases, plans for honoring Chuck Yeager

Two military installations in Florida will be the first to carry the "Space Force" moniker, Vice President Mike Pence announced during a visit to the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday.

The vice president's visit comes a year after President Donald Trump signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act establishing the Space Force.

Pence also revealed that the Trump administration plans to rename a U.S. military base after the late Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles “Chuck” Yeager.  The retired general and historic test pilot, portrayed in the movie The Right Stuff, died this week at the age of 97, according to a tweet posted on his account by his wife on Monday. 

Vice President Mike Pence announces name changes for two military installations in Florida that will carry the "Space Force" moniker. (Office of the Vice President)

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Yeager was the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound on Oct. 14, 1947. The flight in the Bell X-1, which saw him travel to 700 miles per hour, launched the Space Age. But for Yeager, then 24, it was just another job for a young test pilot. 

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More details about the Yeager facility renaming will be released at a later date.

Chuck Yeager during a press conference at Edwards Air Force Base during the 50th anniversary celebration of his October 14, (Photo by Kim Kulish/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Pence was attending a meeting of the National Space Council where he announced that Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will now be known as Patrick Space Force Base and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

He spoke outside of Air Force Two, discussing the Space Force and the space accomplishments of the Trump Administration. Much of the focus was placed on the Artemis missions to the moon and NASA's planned Space Launch System. NASA hopes to send astronauts back to the moon by 2024.

Patrick base, south of Cape Canaveral in Brevard County, is one of six finalists to be command headquarters for Space Force. Other potential sites are Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, Port San Antonio in Texas, and Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.  SPACECOM, established in August 2019, remains temporarily housed at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.  A final decision is expected early next year.

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This story was reported out of Lake Mary, Florida.