The relocation of the U.S. Space Command headquarters from Colorado to Huntsville has been the source of drama and controversy since former president Donald Trump’s announcement of the move in January of 2021.
Now, after multiple assurances that the move was still happening as planned, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius wrote on Thursday that keeping the headquarters in Colorado is the better move. Mayor Tommy Battle disagrees. And he made that clear in his remarks Friday.
Space Command HQ relocation
As we reported last summer, the relocation of the Space Command headquarters to Huntsville was basically a “done deal,” so to speak after an extended investigation into Trump’s decision-making process to move the operations of Space Command.
Since then, more politics and partisanship has come into play that has further delayed the relocation process. As Ignatius said in his WaPo column Thursday, “The White House appears ready to reverse a Trump administration plan to relocate the U.S. Space Command from Colorado Springs to Huntsville, Ala., because it fears the transfer would disrupt operations at a time when space is increasingly important to the military.”
Ignatius added, “President Biden is right to listen to the generals on this one and keep the locus of space operations where it is.”
This is after a lengthy process since Trump’s announcement. Here’s a timeline of events leading us to now:
Here’s a timeline of events that has led us to where we are now in the process:
- The Air Force originally announced its decision to move Space Command to Redstone Arsenal in January 2021.
- The Air Force’s decision angered Colorado lawmakers and its business community, which touted Colorado Springs’s status as a longtime hub for military space operations and industry, and the current SPACECOM headquarters. They called for multiple investigations by the defense secretary, DoD inspector general and Government Accountability Office into the basing process.
- After a 15-month process that questioned the methods by which Huntsville was chosen for the new Space Command headquarters, Pentagon officials on May 2 said they found “no foul play” involved in the selection process, giving the Air Force the green light to move the SPACECOM HQ to Alabama.
- In June, the Government Accountability Office released a report stating that, while the Air Force’s process for choosing Space Command’s location was not completely up to par with recommendations, Redstone Arsenal still stands out as the top choice for Space Command HQ.
- In June 2021, the USAF announced that the environmental review found no issues with the proposed site for the new headquarters. A variety of potential impacts were studied including noise levels, transportation and natural resources.
- Pres. Joe Biden said he has been advised to overturn the decision by Trump to move the Space Command headquarters.
Mayor Battle’s response
Mayor Tommy Battle Friday released a statement in response to the WaPo article, saying the headquaters should be in Huntsville, just like the studies over the last two years have shown.
“The results of an exhaustive, objective, data-driven study, twice performed, show that Huntsville, Alabama, is the best location for Space Command headquarters. That recommendation was examined in two thorough reports – from the Government Accountability Office and Department of Defense Inspector General – finding the DoD’s study was conducted properly, each time resulting in Huntsville being named as the best spot for USSPACECOM. We look forward to Space Command being headquartered where it belongs, the Rocket City.”Mayor Tommy Battle
The decision has still not been finalized, but Biden’s recent comments via the WaPo column do not make the prosepct of Huntsville getting the headquarters very promising now.
Time will tell.
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