Our team at the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC and all political leaders and partners involved are deeply disappointed with the decision to move the U.S. Space Command out of Colorado Springs to Huntsville, AL. After a long campaign and site visits conducted by the Air Force, Colorado leaders are working with President Biden’s team to suspend action on the move to Huntsville until they can investigate what influence former President Trump had on the decision, and reverse the decision if it was based on anything but merits of a location. Keep reading to explore the next steps we are taking to attempt to reverse this rash decision.
Merits, not presidential politics
This decision came only a week before former President Trump was set to leave office, eliciting calls to examine his role in pulling the command from Peterson Air Force Base in favor of a base in a state that’s home to some of his most vocal supporters—Alabama. The decision has Colorado lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats, calling for an investigation and asking President Biden to review the decision.
Our team heard from multiple, reliable sources inside the Air Force and National Security Administration that Colorado Springs was the Air Force’s recommended location, and that former President Trump ignored the recommendation and directed the selection of Huntsville. Despite Colorado Springs and El Paso County being reliably red Trump-supporting districts, Mayor Suthers says he is certain that the president is playing political favorites. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) sent a letter to Biden shortly 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 the letter, Lamborn calls out the decision as unwise:
“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.”
Colorado Springs ranks above the rest
One key reason as to why the Front Range is the ideal location is that we’re home to the key hubs for satellite control at Schriever and Buckley Air Force bases. Colorado Springs also houses the intelligence professionals who keep an eye on everything in orbit from the telescopes and radars controlled by Peterson Air Force Base troops and Schriever’s National Space Defense Center.
Colorado Springs should have won the biggest category in the Space Command fight, which focuses on workforce, security, and proximity to space missions. The nation’s greatest concentration of aerospace talent is the steam that powers 250+ private companies focused on the region’s aerospace and defense industry. Access to government, talent, and installations and commands are a few of the reasons many of the world’s largest aerospace and defense companies operate in Colorado Springs such as Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Parsons, and Boeing.
This arrangement was not based on what’s best for America’s national interests, therefore we need to establish the next logical steps to overturn the decision. Firstly, the military needs to release how it scored Colorado Springs and Huntsville during the review process. Additionally, there needs to be collaboration with President Biden’s team to suspend action on the move to Huntsville until they can investigate what influence President Trump had on the decision and reverse it if it was based on anything but merits of a location.
“We want President Biden to remove politics from the decision. Let’s let the military leaders make that decision based on what’s best for the mission of United States Space Command,” says Reggie Ash, the Chief of Defense Development for the Chamber & EDC.
Contact us to learn more about the U.S. Space Command and why Colorado Springs is the perfect place to house it permanently, equipped with a supportive military community, expanding city, and a whopping five military installations.
It’s not just Colorado leaders calling for this decision to be reviewed. Todd Harrison, Director, Defense Budget Analysis, Director, Aerospace Security Project and Senior Fellow, International Security Program for Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), discusses the numerous flaws with moving the headquarters. CISC is a nonpartisan research institution and is recognized as the top defense and national security think tank in the world.