". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Biden Keeps Space Command HQ in Colorado against Military Advice

August 2, 2023

In a move seen by both Democrat and Republican lawmakers as baldly partisan, Biden administration officials announced Monday that the U.S. Space Command headquarters would remain at its interim location in Colorado Springs, Colo. and would not be relocated to Huntsville, Ala., despite extensive prior government reviews that determined that Huntsville was the best strategic location for the headquarters.

The U.S. Space Command (SPACECOM) is responsible for military operations in outer space. After the reestablishment of the Space Command in 2019 following its disbandment in 2002, the U.S. Air Force began a search for a suitable location to establish SPACECOM’s permanent headquarters. In January 2021, the Trump administration announced that Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. had been selected as the future location for the headquarters.

But after Democrats accused President Trump of picking the Huntsville location out of favoritism toward Alabama’s conservative political base, the Department of Defense Inspector General conducted a review of the selection process, ultimately finding that it was factually sound and impartial. At the time, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin defended the decision to move to Huntsville. In addition, a Government Accountability Office assessment found that Huntsville ranked first ahead of Colorado Springs, and yet another review by Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall also favored Huntsville as the top pick.

However, it appears Austin has since changed his mind to coincide with Biden’s decision. On Monday, Fox News reported that “Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said Biden had consulted with … Austin and senior military leaders before deciding that Colorado Springs, Colorado, will remain as the permanent location” of the headquarters. According to administration officials, Biden believes the decision “would avoid a disruption in readiness that the move would cause” and that “maintaining stability will help the military be better able to respond in space over the next decade.”

But lawmakers from both sides of the aisle say that the move “inserted politics” into a decision that should be primarily concerned about national security, especially in light of the Biden administration’s ongoing feud with Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) over his months-long hold on military promotions due to the Pentagon’s abortion policy, which uses taxpayer dollars to fund travel expenses for servicewomen to receive abortions without the approval of Congress.

“The top three choices for Space Command headquarters were all in red states — Alabama, Nebraska, and Texas,” Tuberville said in a statement. “Colorado didn’t even come close. This decision to bypass the three most qualified sites looks like blatant patronage politics, and it sets a dangerous precedent that military bases are now to be used as rewards for political supporters rather than for our security.”

In addition, Alabama’s entire congressional delegation, including Democratic Congresswoman Terri Sewell, have roundly condemned Biden’s decision.

“This administration’s decision to keep Space Command in Colorado bows to the whims of politics over merit,” Sewell said. “Huntsville’s merits won this selection process fair and square. … This reversal is as shameful as it is disappointing. I expected more from the Biden administration. A decision of this magnitude should not be about red states versus blue states, but rather what is best for our national security.”

Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) added her concern about Biden’s decision that went against the advice of Air Force Secretary Kendall.

“President Biden has irresponsibly decided to yank a military decision out of the Air Force’s hands in the name of partisan politics,” she stated. “Huntsville finished first in both the Air Force’s Evaluation Phase and Selection Phase. … That decision should have remained in the Air Force’s purview. Instead, President Biden is now trying to hand the Gold Medal to the fifth-place finisher.”

On Tuesday’s “Washington Watch,” Rep. Rich McCormick (R-Ga.) added to the growing chorus of frustrated leaders. “Well, this isn’t the first time we’ve been misled by the president,” he said bluntly. “Certainly, it won’t be the last time either. I think [they’re] definitely playing politics. … [Biden] doesn’t like [Alabama] because it has pro-life legislation there, [and] because he has a certain senator he doesn’t like right now. But in the end, I really want to make sure that we honor the Science, Space, and Technology Committee as well as the space program … [and focus on] keeping people safe and sound.”

Meanwhile, House Armed Services Committee Chairmen Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) promised an investigation into the matter, vowing that Biden’s decision will not be the final word.

“I will be continuing my investigation into Biden’s deliberate, political, taxpayer-funded meddling in this decision,” he said. “This is not over, and Colorado Springs will not be the permanent location for U.S. Space Command.”

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.