‘It’s time to fully embrace the Air Force’s decision, and move forward together. The Air Force needs and deserves our full support.’
‘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.’’
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following video message after his office was briefed on the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report regarding the site selection process for U.S. Space Command headquarters (SPACECOM HQ). The GAO confirmed that during the U.S. Air Force’s comprehensive process, Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama was the highest scoring location in the Evaluation Phase, the highest ranked location in the Selection Phase, and the location with the most advantages in the final decision matrix. That is why the U.S. Secretary of the Air Force ultimately selected Redstone as the preferred location for SPACECOM HQ. The GAO was critical of eleventh hour attempts to elevate a much lower ranked installation into the number two position. That artificial action gave the appearance of bias.
Excerpts from the Senator’s video message can be found below, and his remarks can be viewed here.
“The Air Force chose Huntsville, Alabama as the new home of SPACECOM, which will eventually be home to more than 1,400 personnel.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.’”
“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.’”
In 2020, the Air Force conducted an extensive search for the best location for the new home of U.S. Space Command, reviewing objective criteria like infrastructure, costs, mission capability, and the quality of the local community. Sixty-six different locations in twenty-six states were evaluated, and in the end, Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama ranked number one.
At the request of other lawmakers, the U.S. Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG) and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) both conducted investigations into U.S. Air Force’s site selection process for U.S. Space Command headquarters. On Tuesday, Senator Tuberville released a statement on the IG’s report, which concluded that the Air Force followed a legal, fair, and logical process. The IG report said, in part, “Overall, we determined that the 2020 Basing Action directed by the SECDEF complied with Federal Law and DoD policy and that the Basing Action process was reasonable…. Our report describes in detail the actions taken by Air Force officials to select Huntsville, Alabama, as the preferred permanent location for the USSPACECOM HQ. We determined that the 2020 Basing Action process was reasonable in identifying Huntsville, Alabama, as the preferred permanent location to host the USSPACECOM HQ.”
In a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on March 8th, 2022, General James H. Dickinson, Commander of U.S. Space Command, debunked the idea that moving Space Command would delay readiness. In his testimony, General Dickinson assured the committee that Space Command would be fully operational in two to three years, regardless of where it is ultimately located.
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.