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Controversy Erupts Over Trump Administration’s Choice of Alabama for Space Command HQ

Controversy Erupts Over Trump Administration’s Choice of Alabama for Space Command HQ

Claiming the decision is “political,” Colorado lawmakers demand Biden review the pick.

Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett announced that U.S. Space Command should move from Colorado to Alabama a week before resigning.

The decision to move the command from Peterson Air Force Base, in Colorado Springs, to Redstone Arsenal, an Army base in Huntsville, comes after intense lobbying from a number of states.

“Huntsville compared favorably across more of these factors than any other community, providing a large, qualified workforce, quality schools, superior infrastructure capacity, and low initial and recurring costs,” the Air Force said in a statement. “Additionally, Redstone Arsenal offered a facility to support the headquarters, at no cost, while the permanent facility is being constructed.”

Alabama officials were thrilled.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said Huntsville has spent years getting ready to compete for jobs and business.

“I think you’ve got to look at the Air Force’s announcement,” he said. “You had to have schools, you had to have infrastructure, you had to have a workforce, you have to have a lot of these things to make this work. They looked very hard for two years, they made us go through our paces. And this was done on merit. It was done on the merit that we as a community have been setting ourselves up for the last 15, 20 years.”

Officials in Colorado Springs are slamming the decision.

“We’re extremely disappointed and concerned with the decision—and it appears to be influenced by personal politics,” Dirks Draper, the president of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corp., which managed the campaign for the city of Colorado Springs to keep Space Command.

Draper told Fox News that the process was “unprecedented” due to the competitive nature of the decision-making.

“The military always makes decisions based on military criteria, what is compatible for resources, and military alignment,” Draper said, adding that it would be “interruptive” to move Space Command from its temporary headquarters.

“We are at risk of interrupting the missing of guarding the space domain by relocating it,” Draper told Fox News. “It doesn’t make sense that they would go to another community and rebuild, or duplicate infrastructure that is already here in Colorado Springs—there is no reason for it, from a logistics, or national security standpoint.”

Colorado congressional delegation is working feverishly to get Biden to reverse the decision.

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) sent a letter to Biden on Wednesday not long after the Pentagon announced it had decided to base the 1,400-person headquarters at the Army facility in Alabama, not at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. In his letter, Lamborn highlighted the need to maintain stability in America’s national security space enterprise as Russia and China develop technology to attack the U.S. in orbit.

“This last-minute decision, based entirely on political expediency, will devastate our space capabilities,” Lamborn wrote. “I call on you to use your authority upon taking office as our nation’s commoner-in-chief to reverse this foolish and hastily made decision.”

Separately, Colorado Democrats Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper released a statement saying they will “ensure the Biden administration reviews this purported decision.”

Helpful hint for the Colorado Senators: Any decision Biden may make (and just how many of these is questionable) will be political. However, reports indicate the decision won’t be finalized until 2023.

President Donald Trump’s salvaging of the US space program may be one of his most significant achievements. Here’s hoping that all American progress in the space race is not undone in the next four years.


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Left out of this post: The influence of Senator Richard Shelby, R-AL and longtime member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Subotai Bahadur | January 19, 2021 at 8:35 pm

Granting that I think that Colorado Springs would be a better site for Space Command HQ, the concept of appealing to the Biden regime is pointless. The last thing they want is something that works militarily.

Subotai Bahadur

    Do you really think that launching spacecraft should be done over a landmass and population centers instead of over a body of water?

      You don’t have to do that at Headquarters. *smh*

        Ohio Historian in reply to GWB. | January 20, 2021 at 7:49 pm

        CO had Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center, Rocky Flats, etc. Demanded they all be closed. They want the HQ jobs but not the “dirt” that goes with the real work. AL is willing to take both. My vote? AL is the choice because then the HQ actually has control of the work being done.

Rule #1: Leftists are imbeciles. That is why they are leftists.

Redstone is the logical pick. They’ve been doing rocket stuff there since the 50’s. Peterson is a AF base and need to get Space Cmd away from them cause they’re still mad that Trump made the Space Force. But, Biden will undo this because politics and CO is blue and needs to get something for being a pot state.

    caseoftheblues in reply to RobM. | January 20, 2021 at 5:44 am

    Yah let’s immediately destroy the Space Force before it barely has started by making sure its filled with tons of Colorado leftist crazies

      It would be full of military people and DoD employees who are already there. One advantage of CO is that a large chunk of the folks are already in place and you wouldn’t have to expand much into hiring locals. (I’m not saying it should be there, just countering the idea that you hire oodles of locals to do the actual military work.)

Historically, Huntsville carries a lot of weight and the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center is there.

It was the Redstone Arsenal that put the first US satellite into orbit. Von Braun and company had to play some interesting ploys to hide a Redstone missile in plain sight waiting for the day when they and Van Allen’s team could bring success after the Navy’s Project Vanguard .. ah.. failed…in spectacular fashion.. in front of the whole world.

I don’t think we have to hide our space forces, yet, underground. Huntsville is neutral turf.

I disagree. Any decision Biden may make will be someone else’s. He can’t remember the question long enough to come up with an answer.

Instead, the question will be made on the basis of what will bring the most economic benefit to Joe Biden’s family and/or cronies.

I am far more worried about this:

It would appear that the Communist Party is seeking to apply a political litmus test for being in the military (and eliminate anyone with the “wrong” opinions). The US armed forces already has a frightening number of senior officers willing to use their guns and authority to go after “racists” (read: non-Communists), and this will only increase the number of Alfred Jodl wannabes in uniform.

I vote Malmstrom AFB in Montana. Not only is it home to an active Minuteman III wing, but is also home to the 688th Cyberspace Wing and the 690th Cyberspace Operations Groups, which gives it direct hardwired access to Air Force space monitoring capabilities. It is also home to the 819th Red Hose Squadron, the combat engineers of the USAF. And, it is relatively isolated.

    GWB in reply to Mac45. | January 20, 2021 at 8:10 am

    LOL. It’s Red Horse Squadron!
    (There’s several of those around. And I don’t think any of them has experience building on the moon. 😉 )

    I think “Red Hose” Squadron would be more apt for that clump of idiocy called “The Squad”.

      venril in reply to GWB. | January 20, 2021 at 10:00 am

      To be fair, I don’t think anyone has experience building on the moon. At least no one who will admit to it.
      /dons foil hat

      Mac45 in reply to GWB. | January 20, 2021 at 11:27 am

      Thanks for the correction. That is what I get for not proof reading my post.

      While no one has any experience building anything on the Moon, wherever the Space cadets set up shop, facility construction will be necessary for offices, housing, etc. And the Red Horse should be able to provide that easily.

There will shortly be no US Space Force: China doesn’t want it. If it does remain under the Junta, it’ll exist as an information agency for China.

Don’t let idea that our nation underwent a coup and is now run by a fascist Junta leave your mind: reality is about to set in.

    caseoftheblues in reply to | January 20, 2021 at 6:37 am

    Agree…between China not wanting us to have and the deranged Trump haters who couldn’t live with the thought of that being a positive part of his legacy

Huntsville has a long history in the aerospace business. It’s a natural pick. I don’t see why Colorado Springs should be preferred.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to artichoke. | January 20, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    There are points in Colorado Springs’ favor. The concept of actually using space as something more that something to be transited through by the military was/is centered around Colorado Springs. First, with NORAD inside Cheyenne Mountain where all our early warning satellites were controlled [and for a while some of our strategic recon satellites] and later at the SDI Testbed [now Schriever AFB] where literally the focus was to use space [anything above 100 km. altitude] for warfighting.

    I started my sideline writing career doing articles for military journals and have been inside both the Mountain and Schriever repeatedly for briefings. Huntsville is/was more concerned with creating vehicles to launch and then be discarded.

    As I said above, I more than suspect that the current regime ruling our country will stand Space Command down, in case it works, so it is moot.

    Subotai Bahadur

Claiming the decision is “political,”
Well, no flippin’ sh**, Sherlock!
Every basing decision since probably 1930 has been political to some extent. And that includes, especially the “non-partisan” Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). Ever since converting to a standing army and removing the mustering and maintenance of the units from the states, the national gov’t has decided basing on Congressional and Presidential politics.

What people are missing is that Huntsville is already a space mecca. It is one of the largest “technical and complex” CNC machining capabilities areas in the country. Much of the parts for NASA are already made there.

    CommoChief in reply to starride. | January 20, 2021 at 8:52 am

    Agreed. Huntsville and it’s role in the space program past and present is not widely known. The physical infrastructure already exists with room to expand, there is a trained workforce ECT.

    University of Alabama at Huntsville already exists turning out graduates with specialty degrees needed for aerospace. Plenty of reasons to make Huntsville the logical choice.

    Anonamom in reply to starride. | January 20, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Agreed. Huntsville IS the logical choice.

Actually as someone with background in the command and Colorado there is really not alot of physical room at space location in CO and Alabama is fine. Its just hq i believe other assets will still be in CO and CA

They’re not mad it might have been a political choice, they’re mad it wasn’t their political choice. Get the Air Force away from it.

Let me guess, the ghost of Robert Byrd wants it in W VA?

Wernher von Braun is the father of the US Space Program. He, his team, and 100 V-2 Rockets were moved from Peenemünde to the US, and finally ended up in Huntsville. The Army called his organization the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA). Von Brauun selected Rocketdyne as his rocket engine developer. and the newely established Chrysler Corporation Missle Divison (CCMD) as the prime contractor for the Redstone Rocket. (As in Alabama.) Remember that Chrysler developed the gaseous diffusion technology used to enrich uranium for the Manhattan Project.

Shortly therafter my rather young Dad, who had aircraft manufacturing experience at Willow Run (The Arsenal of Democracy) joined the the executive ranks of CCMD as Chief of Quality, and his office was next door to Magnus von Braun.

Chrysler and sucessfully launched Pioneer I, the first American satellite, Pioneer IV, the first moon probe, Ham the Spae Chimp, and our first astronauts Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom.

ABMA became the Marshall Spaceflight Center, responsible for the NASA’s manned spaceflight, with a mandate to go to the moon.

In December 1962 Chrsyler won the Saturn IB Booster contract to manufacture twenty vehicles. It was supposed to be the workhorse vehicle for orbiting anything into low earth orbit. My Dad, who lead the Division, manufactured, static tested and launched the uprated Saturn IBs that orbited Apollo 8, Skypab II, III, and IV, and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.

They then lost the Space Shuttle Program, and the Space Shuttle External Tank Project…

WHY? Because the Air Force, who started a parallel space program in the late 1950s took over the leadership of NASA with the advent of the Shuttle Program. The Shuttle Program was starved of funding, and the system that flew was a toy…THe majority of the funding came from the Airf Force under the “Black Shuttle” budget.

Manned Spaceflight originated in Huntsville. It is a fitting tribute to their legacy and accomplishments that the US Space Command should be headquartered there.