Senators square off over Huntsville selection for U.S. Space Command headquarters

The entire Colorado congressional delegation is pushing the Biden administration hard to suspend that decision, instead calling for the Air Force to keep space command right where it is currently housed in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Posted: Oct 13, 2021 3:08 PM
Updated: Oct 13, 2021 6:12 PM

U.S. Space Command headquarters is coming to Huntsville. Right?

Maybe not, if Colorado politicians get their way.

In January, the Air Force announced the Rocket City will be the permanent headquarters for its growing Space Command, bringing new jobs to Redstone Arsenal and the entire region.

But that game-changing decision means the command will leave Colorado behind.

The entire Colorado congressional delegation is pushing the Biden administration hard to suspend that decision, instead calling for the Air Force to keep Space Command where it is currently housed in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Right now, the Department of Defense Inspector General's Office and the Government Accountability Office are both conducting reviews of this decision. It is unclear when their report will be completed.

That review launched after Colorado Democratic senators led the entire Colorado Congressional Delegation in urging President Joe Biden to suspend the Trump administration’s decision.

U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper released a statement after Trump said he “single-handily” made the decision to move the U.S. Space Command headquarters from Colorado to Alabama during a rally in Cullman earlier this year:

“Former President Trump has admitted what we already knew: That he made a strictly political decision to move Space Command and completely disregarded both critical national security and budgetary considerations. This is exactly why we’ve called for a review and reconsideration of the decision. We look forward to the Air Force doing just that -- looking at what is best for our national security -- and making sure Space Command is located where it belongs, in Colorado Springs," Hickenlooper wrote.

But powerful Southern Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said she’ll oppose efforts by Colorado leaders to keep Space Command in Colorado Springs.

“Of course, Space Force is coming our way," Blackburn said Tuesday while in Huntsville for the Lee Greenwood tribute concert.

Blackburn sits on the Armed Services Committee and says the decision just makes sense.

“It was a logical choice when you look at workforce, we have a ready workforce.”

Blackburn points to the detailed site-selection process the Air Force conducted before picking Huntsville. Blackburn says this will impact the entire region.

“A lot of Tennessee folks work here in Huntsville so when you look at Redstone Arsenal," she said.

A the DOD review of how this decision was reached continues behind closed doors, Blackburn remains confident.

“I mean look at Fort Campbell and then you look at the capacity that is here in Huntsville and the innovation and research work.”

Blackburn says politics aside, this was a good call for the country.

“The best is yet to come for our region," Blackburn added.

WAAY 31 reached out to Space Command officials Wednesday who say the status remains unchanged and they are moving here.

But during a congressional hearing in April, Gen. James Dickinson, Commander of Space Command, acknowledged there are many unanswered questions about the move, including its costs and impact on workforce retention.

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