Step Two

The governors of the 18 states in contention to host the permanent location for USAF’s new Cyber Command have now received a second letter from William Anderson, the service’s point man on the effort, asking for more details on why their states should get the new unit. In his recent letter, Anderson, the assistant secretary for installations, environment, and logistics, invites the governors to review the initial basing criteria provided and make a case for X as an “ideal host location” for either the new command’s headquarters or supporting organizations or both. (The Air Force laid out its notional organizational structure in March.) Anderson wants the governors’ inputs by July 1. For Step 3 in the process, which will begin sometime later this summer, the service will send teams to visit each potential location, where team members will meet with local officials and verify the states’ claims. After analyzing the data, writes Anderson, the service will narrow the field “to a short list that consists of a preferred location and several alternative locations” that it expects to announce publicly in mid-November. As the dust settles, the Air Force then must begin environmental assessments, working toward a final permanent choice that it hopes to reveal by September 2009.