Huntsville may not be the new home of the U.S. Space Command after all

Feb 20, 2021

The inspector general for the Department of Defense may yank the The U.S. Space Command away from Huntsville. The IG is investigating the Trump administration's last-minute decision to relocate the headquarters of the military’s space satellite assets from its current home in Colorado. The inspector general's office will see if Trump’s move complied with government policies.

Officials from Colorado have said that military officials had recommended to President Donald Trump that the headquarters should remain at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, but they were "overruled for politically motivated reasons," though they did not specify the reasons. "This move threatens jobs, could cause serious economic damage, and upend the lives of hundreds of military and civilian families that were counting on the U.S. Space Command staying home in Colorado Springs as well as harm military readiness," Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera said in a statement.

President Donald Trump initially placed the command at Colorado’s Peterson Air Force Base. Republican U.S. Senator Cory Gardner was up for reelection in the so called “Centennial State.” But, the lawmaker lost in November, and Colorado overwhelmingly rejected Trump. The former President then announced last month, before leaving office, that the command would move to Alabama, a decisively pro-Trump state. GOP lawmakers including embattled U.S. House member Mo Brooks and newly elected Senator Tommy Tuberville quickly claimed credit for the move, though Washington insiders doubt either had the political pull to accomplish the relocation.

The U.S. Space Command is separate from the Space Force, which is a distinct military service. Other sites considered for the headquarters were New Mexico, Nebraska, Texas, Florida and Colorado. U.S. House member Doug Lamborn urged President-elect Joe Biden in a letter to reverse the decision opon taking office. In the letter he also said moving Space Command from Colorado would "damage America's national security" while Russia and China are actively competing with the U.S.'s space capabilities.