DENVER – The Department of Defense Inspector General announced on Friday that it was reviewing the Trump administration's decision to move the U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama.
The Jan. 13 decision, a week before Trump left office, blinded Colorado officials and raised questions about political retaliation. Trump had hinted at a 2020 Colorado Springs rally that command would remain Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs
But the man Trump held that meeting with, Republican Senator Cory Gardner, lost his reelection bid in November, and Colorado, unlike Alabama, voted resolutely against Trump. Last minute relocation of Air Force headquarters to Huntsville, Alabama – home to the US military's Redstone Arsenal – blinded Colorado officials from both parties, urging the Biden administration to reconsider the decision.
On Friday, the inspector general's office announced that it was investigating whether the move was consistent with Air Force and Pentagon policies and based on proper evaluations of competing sites.
Officials from both sides in Colorado were delighted. "It is imperative that we think thoroughly about what, in my opinion, will prove to be a fundamentally flawed process that focused more on bean counting than on the dominance of US space," said Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican whose district includes Space Command.
The two Democratic state senators, Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, also hailed the probe. Moving Space Command will disrupt the mission while endangering our national security and economic vitality, the senators said in a joint statement. “Politics does not play a role in our national security. We fully support the investigation. "
Among other tasks, the Space Command enables satellite-based navigation and troop communication and warns of missile launches. Also headquartered at Peterson are the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, and the U.S. Northern Command.
The Space Command differs from the US Space Force, launched in December 2019 as the first new military service since the Air Force was founded in 1947. The Space Command is not an individual military service, but a central command for military space operations. It operated at Peterson from 1985 until it was disbanded in 2002, and it was revived in 2019.
The Air Force accepted site bids for the command when it was revived and considered six finalists, including Huntsville, when Trump hinted it would remain in Colorado Springs.
. (tagsToTranslate) US Space Command (t) Space Command HQ Relocation (t) Defense Department Inspector General (t) DoD IG Review Space Command HQ Decision (t) Peterson Air Force Base (t) U.S. Army