Friday, U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) was briefed on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the Air Force’s decision to relocate U.S. Space Command to Huntsville.
Tuberville, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that he was “pleased” with the report’s findings.
According to Alabama’s junior senator, the GAO report confirmed that Redstone Arsenal emerged as the highest-scoring location during the agency’s evaluation phase, and was also the highest-ranked location in the selection phase. Additionally, Redstone Arsenal had the most advantages in the final decision matrix.
These factors, Tuberville maintained, were why the previous administration in 2020 selected Huntsville as the preferred permanent location for the combatant command.
When the decision to relocate Space Command from Colorado’s Peterson Space Force Base to Redstone Arsenal was announced, members of the state’s congressional delegation contested the decision, claiming that bias interfered in the selection process.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General’s Office confirmed that the Air Force’s decision to relocate Space Command to Alabama’s Rocket City was “reasonable” and complied with the law.
Tuberville’s office released a video of the senator touching on his briefing regarding the GAO’s report.
In a statement, Tuberville reiterated his belief that Huntsville is the appropriate location for Space Command.
“The Air Force chose Huntsville, Alabama as the new home of SPACECOM, which will eventually be home to more than 1,400 personnel,” noted Tuberville. “But that was 16 months ago. Since then, the decision has been tied up in government reviews by the Inspector General at the Department of Defense and the Government Accountability Office at the request of other lawmakers.”
He added, “We finally received the results of both reviews this week. I’m glad to report both reviews were positive. The Inspector General found that ‘the process Air Force officials used to select Huntsville complied with the law and policy, and it was reasonable in identifying Huntsville as the preferred location’ for headquarters.”
Tuberville called the Air Force’s selection process “robust and objective.”
“My office was briefed on the GAO report this morning and, overall, we are pleased with its findings. So, 16 months later we know that the Air Force selection process was robust and objective, the investigations extensive, and the conclusion the same throughout: Redstone Arsenal is the best place for Space Command,” he declared.
The senator continued, “My message to my colleagues is simple, ‘it’s time to fully embrace the Air Force’s decision, and move forward together. The Air Force needs and deserves our full support.’”
Tuberville concluded, “And my message to the Air Force and the people of SPACECOM is this: ‘We’re excited to welcome you to Alabama – the most military-friendly state in America. With the threat from China, North Korea, Russia, and Iran on the rise, your mission to seize the high ground of space is critically important. Let’s get going.’”