The U.S. Air Force has approved Barking Sands Pacific Missile Range Facility as its top choice for the Air National Guard's Space Control Squadron.
The new, highly technical unit will monitor U.S. satellites to ensure the military and other national security agencies have access to satellite communication, intelligence and key information, the Air Force said. The unit will have 88 new Hawaii Air National Guard positions, including 29 full-time positions and 59 part-time, drill-status positions.
The Air Force expects to complete the development of the base by summer 2020, with the squadron becoming partially operational in 2021 and fully operational by 2022.
In a statement, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said the decision by the Air Force reaffirms the importance of Hawaii's strategic role.
"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," said Schatz.
Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami said in a release that his administration welcomes the additional employment opportunities for residents, especially in the areas of science, math and technology.