Biden To Keep Space Command Headquarters In Colorado Amid Row With Alabama Senator

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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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President Joe Biden has chosen to permanently locate U.S. Space Command headquarters in Colorado, bucking a last-minute Trump administration decision to station the force in Alabama.

Space Command head Gen. James Dickinson convinced the administration to leave the headquarters at its temporary location in Colorado Springs, Colorado, because moving it now would jeopardize military readiness, The Associated Press reported, citing senior U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a decision that had not yet been made public. The decision puts an end to months of heated debate within the Biden administration and political pressure from Alabama Republicans, including Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who has gone to bat with the Biden administration over the permanent location of the U.S.’ newest military branch.

“Locating Headquarters U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs ultimately ensures peak readiness in the space domain for our nation during a critical period,” Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement. “From the start, DoD and the Department of the Air Force have worked diligently to ensure the basing decision resulted from an objective and deliberate process informed by data and analysis, in compliance with federal law and DoD policy.” (RELATED: The US Is Preparing For The Possibility Of War With China — In Space)

Tuberville has loudly and consistently advocated for Space Command to move to Huntsville.

At the same time, he has blocked hundreds of high-level military promotions over a separate point of contention with the Biden administration. While the two issues are not directly related, Tuberville’s opposition to the administration’s abortion travel policy has fueled contention between the two parties.

Alabama’s more restrictive abortion laws banning the procedure in most cases may have contributed to the delay, NBC News first reported in May, citing U.S. and defense officials.

Lawmakers in June threatened to withhold funding for certain Air Force programs in next year’s defense authorization bill until Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall made a final decision.

Now, the administration has decided that moving Space Command, temporarily headquartered in Colorado Springs since its inception in 2019, would introduce instability and hinder progress needed to maintain pace with China’s growing military space program, according to the AP.

The Air Force announced plans to relocate the temporary Space Command headquarters to a final location in Huntsville, Alabama, in 2020, but since reversed course and stalled issuing the final call, according to Air Force Times. Colorado Democrats claimed the decision was a form of political retaliation against the incoming Biden administration in 2020 and pressured the Air Force to reevaluate the decision.

However, two Air Force reviews in 2022 found no undue political pressures influenced the final decision, according to Air Force Times. Alabama lawmakers argued two government oversight reports reinforced the Air Force’s initial decision to locate Space Command in Huntsville.

The White House and Tuberville’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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