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'Misguided Decision': Polis Objects To Plans To Move of Space Command From Colorado To Alabama

DENVER (CBS4) - Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera expressed their opposition to reports that the Trump administration is planning to relocate U.S. Space Command from Colorado Springs to Alabama. They called it a "misguided decision" and said the recommendation to keep the Space Force headquarters in Colorado would only be overruled by "politically motivated reasons."

President Donald Trump Announces Establishment Of The U.S. Space Command
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 29: U.S. Air Force Space Command Gen. John "Jay" Raymond stands next to the flag of the newly established U.S. Space Command, the sixth national armed service, in the Rose Garden at the White House August 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. Citing potential threats from China and Russia and the nation's reliance on satellites for defense operations, Trump said the U.S. needs to launch a 'space force.' Raymond will serve as the first head of Space Command, which will have 87 active units handling operations such as missile warning, satellite surveillance, space control and space support. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

According to a statement released by his office, the Secretary of the Air Force selected Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama, as the preferred location for the U.S. Space Command Headquarters:

"The Department of the Air Force conducted both virtual and on-site visits to assess which of six candidate locations would be best suited to host the U.S. Space Command Headquarters based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support and costs to the Department of Defense.

"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. Additionally, Redstone Arsenal offered a facility to support the headquarters, at no cost, while the permanent facility is being constructed.

"Albuquerque, New Mexico; Bellevue, Nebraska; Cape Canaveral, Florida; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and San Antonio, Texas, will remain reasonable alternative locations for the U.S. Space Command Headquarters."

Alabama Gov. Kay Ively celebrated the news.

"I couldn't be more pleased to learn that Alabama will be the new home to the United States Space Command!" Gov. Ively wrote on Twitter.

Colorado Gov. Polis and Lt. Gov. Primavera released the following statement on Wednesday:

"Colorado's proud military heritage, unparalleled aerospace ecosystem, and unmatched quality of life for our service members and their families make us the epicenter of national security space and the only permanent home for U.S. Space Command. Reports that the in-depth military process found Colorado Springs to be the best location for military readiness and cost and recommended Colorado to the President only to be overruled for politically motivated reasons are deeply concerning. This move threatens jobs, could cause serious economic damage, and upend the lives of hundreds of military and civilian families that were counting on U.S Space Command staying at home in Colorado Springs as well as harm military readiness. It would negatively impact the mission which Colorado Springs has been flawlessly executing, ensuring our national security in the space domain. This misguided decision would cost American taxpayers potentially billions of dollars and would be fiscally irresponsible if it is allowed to stand. We pledge to work with our federal delegation to restore integrity to the process as it unfolds. The work of so many partners in Colorado Springs and across the state has been critical to the shared effort to keep U.S. Space Command in Colorado, and we are grateful for their partnership."

The Department of the Air Force anticipates making a final decision for the location of U.S. Space Command Headquarters in spring 2023 -- pending the results of the environmental impact analysis.

Space Command is provisionally headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base (AFB) in Colorado Springs for the next six years until the U.S. Air Force establishes a permanent base.

The El Paso County Board of County Commissioners Chair Stan VanderWerf released the following statement in response to news that U.S. Space Command may move to Alabama:

"Today's news regarding Space Command is extremely disappointing. Housing the permanent headquarters for U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs is right for our national security, our men and women in uniform, and is in line with the military's own recommendation. Our region has the right infrastructure, work force, and community commitment to support this mission. Keeping USSPACECOM in Colorado Springs will also save taxpayer money. El Paso County remains committed to bringing U.S. Space Command to Colorado Springs and will work with policymakers, stakeholders, and community partners to reverse this decision."

The Metro Denver Economic Development Council issued a statement Wednesday saying it is seeking the Air Force's own recommendation on the home of Space Command:

"The Metro Denver EDC is disheartened to learn that President Trump is ordering the relocation of U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama in his final days in office. Departing its existing headquarters and established infrastructure in Colorado, which is served by the largest concentration of private aerospace workers in the U.S., this move is projected to take up to six years at enormous additional cost to the U.S. taxpayer.

"We have been in touch with our congressional delegation and others in Washington D.C. to determine if the Air Force's own recommendation on the home of Space Command will be made public – and we encourage its release. If the guidance of the Air Force's detailed site selection process supports this move as in the best interests of our nation's military space mission, we will, of course, support in every way possible our national defense, military personnel, and congratulate Alabama. If not, we believe that the incoming Biden Administration might have cause and duty to reevaluate this order."

RELATED: Space Force Launches First Recruitment Video

In December 2018, President Trump signed an executive order to create Space Command separate from U.S. Strategic Command, and officially announced the creation of Space Command in August 2019.

U.S. Air Force Space Command Gen. John "Jay" Raymond is serving as the first head of Space Command, which will have 87 active units handling operations such as missile warning, satellite surveillance, space control and space support.




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