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Battle, Strong respond to Washington Post claims Space Command likely to stay in Colorado

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and U.S. Representative Dale Strong have responded to a Washington Post editorial published Thursday claiming the White House may soon reverse the decision to bring the U.S. Space Command to Huntsville.

The Post editorial stated, “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.”

Battle stated, “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.”

According to the city of Huntsville’s Communication Director Kelly Schrimsher is also working on an editorial column about the situation that will be available soon.

Representative Strong, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and Strategic Forces Subcommittee, released the following statement:

“Redstone Arsenal has consistently ranked as the #1 location to host the headquarters of U.S. Space Command. The indisputable facts of this situation are: The Air Force led a robust basing process which complied with federal law, and the DoD IG and GAO confirmed the original decision. Redstone Arsenal was consistently the top choice to host Space Command headquarters and Colorado wasn’t in the top three.

The decision of where Space Command is located should remain in the hands of the Air Force and should not be politicized. The decision should be what is in the best for national security of the United State of America.  I am hopeful that the Secretary of the Air Force will announce a final basing decision soon.”

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said recently he will decide “fairly soon” where to put the headquarters. The service is conducting further analysis because “we want to make very sure that we got this right,” Kendall told reporters earlier this month at an Air Force Association conference in Colorado.

The decision to move the headquarters from its provisional home in Colorado has been met with a years-long, highly political debate. In a letter sent to President Joe Biden on March 1, 94 politicians, business leaders and military personnel from the western state argued that the command should stay in Colorado Springs.

In the last days of the Trump administration, the Air Force said on Jan. 13, 2021 it selected Army’s Redstone Arsenal as its preferred location for the permanent headquarters. The announcement caused Colorado leaders to decry the move as highly political. U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville recently stated during a speech on the Senate floor that the facts surrounding the case for Huntsville being the best choice still remain — regardless of politics.

“It’s unfortunate that members from states that weren’t even really [in the] running for SPACECOM headquarters are trying to tie completely unrelated political issues to a fact-based decision,” Tuberville said. “The decision to put SPACECOM in Huntsville was based on facts — and facts alone — and evidence of what’s best for the military and for the country and national defense. That decision was then reconfirmed by multiple independent studies. The DoD Inspector General and the GAO confirmed that Huntsville was the number one location for SPACECOM — based on things like workforce, existing infrastructure, education, and the cost of living.”

“Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville is far and away the best place for SPACECOM. This is not my opinion, it’s fact. It’s fact from several studies. Attempts to change that with progressive talking points are shameful and purely political. It’s really a shame.”

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