Tuberville: “Alabama and Redstone Arsenal are Ready for Space Command”

Senator Tuberville doubles down on Alabama and Redstone Arsenal’s readiness to house Space Command

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) today questioned General James Dickinson, Commander of United States Space Command, and Admiral Charles Richard, Commander of United States Strategic Command, during a Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) hearing and restated that Huntsville is well equipped with the infrastructure and industry partners needed to continue the success of Space Command. Sen. Tuberville noted the strong Alabama connections of both Admiral Richard and General Dixon and the understanding both leaders have Alabama’s history of military excellence.  Excerpts from Senator Tuberville’s line of questioning can be found below and the full video can be found here.

On Space Command’s Move to Huntsville:

TUBERVILLE: “First of all, thank you for your service. I can’t imagine starting a new team from scratch. I can’t imagine that. I never had to do it in football, and just had a hundred and twenty players in general you got your hands full. Thank you for your service – an important service. Admiral, I like your forcefulness in terms of ‘hey, we need to modernize,’ at the end of the day. You’ve had a team for a long time, or we’ve had a team, that’s getting old and we need new players; and we need new equipment; and I like what our Secretary says ‘we can afford survival’ and he’s exactly right.

Alabama and Redstone Arsenal are ready for Space Command, but many people in this room probably don’t understand Redstone. Redstone has been involved with space operations for 70 years. NASA’s only facility on a military base is the Marshall Space Flight Center. The largest consumer of space products is the US Army and Army Missile Command and has been at Redstone Arsenal since it was established in 1962. Space technology won’t just be developed by the government to outpace China and Russia – which is going to be a challenge – we need private industry. The area around Redstone boasts 800 suppliers and contractors building the very latest in space technology.”

I was at Redstone three weeks ago and Redstone has the land for space command to grow as your mission expands. It’s dedicated sixty-four acres behind the fence. Space Command as the base has temporary spaces for you right now if needed.”

“General Dixon, thank you for your productive call last week. My colleague asked how much of a civilian workforce we might move to Huntsville. I’d like to follow up on that question. First, how much [of your] civilian workforce have you hired and how many people do you intend to hire in the future?”

GENERAL DIXON: “… my approved manning document is about 60% civilian. We’ve, to date, we’ve hired probably, about not quite a third of that into the Command.”

“So, as we look as we look to the future, you know, we are, we are absolutely looking at incentives that we can provide to our civilian workforce. They are absolutely the bedrock of the command today and in the future. We’ll look at how we can try to incentivize our civilian workforce in terms of making the move to Alabama.”

On Threats Posed by China and Russia:

TUBERVILLE: “Russia and China are prioritizing investments to compete and win across the range of strategic capabilities, especially with regard to nuclear and space capabilities. Do you believe we’re behind the curve?”

ADMIRAL RICHARD: “I have what I need today to deter. To do what the President has asked me to do, but I need it modernized, right? There’s no remaining margin. We cannot extend or delay any of the modernization programs for me to continue to say that in the future.”

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.