By: William Thornton
Two Alabama lawmakers have issued a bi-partisan statement in favor of Huntsville remaining the headquarters for U.S. Space Command.
On Thursday, U.S. Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) and Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham), said Redstone Arsenal should stay the preferred location for the agency’s headquarters.
The statement comes in advance of an expected Government Accountability Office report into the decision-making process that resulted in Huntsville getting the nod.
“There is no better place for our nation’s Space Command headquarters than the Rocket City,” the statement reads.
“Huntsville is the world’s premier hub for space exploration and innovation, and we resoundingly support the 2021 decision to locate it there. We stand by the Air Force’s decision that Huntsville is the best and only home for U.S. Space Command. We look forward to reviewing the Government Accountability Office’s report and remain confident that an objective analysis of the facts will yield the same conclusion.”
Earlier this month, Colorado lawmakers said their advance review of the report points to “major flaws” in moving the headquarters of U.S. Space Command from Colorado Springs to Huntsville. Space Command’s interim home prior to the decision was at Peterson Air Force Base.
The decision to move to Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal triggered criticism and two federal investigations. The Air Force’s official report of its review, issued in 2021, said the review ranked Redstone “the preferred location” of the six finalists for the permanent headquarters.
Former President Donald Trump caused controversy last year when he told a syndicated radio show that he “single-handedly” decided on Huntsville as the command’s future home.
Last month, Sen. Tommy Tuberville gave his own defense of the decision. Tuberville’s communications director, Ryann DuRant, said Tuberville is aware of the draft GAO report.
“Our office understands that the report is not yet finalized,” DuRant said.
“We are confident that Huntsville and Redstone Arsenal will remain the preferred site for Space Command’s permanent headquarters based on objective facts and an analytical process.
“Some lawmakers from losing states attempt to argue that a move will delay readiness. That idea was debunked by Space Command’s commander, General James H. Dickinson, in his testimony on March 8th, when he assured the Senate Armed Services Committee that Space Command would be fully operational in two to three years, regardless of where it is ultimately located. Sen. Tuberville looks forward to reviewing the findings and supporting what is in the long-term interest of our nation’s defense, the warfighter, and the American taxpayer,” DuRant said.