Air Force doing ‘additional analysis’ on moving Space Command from Colorado to Alabama
al.com March 8, 2023
(Tribune News Service) — The Air Force is “doing some additional analysis “before announcing whether the U.S. Space Command Headquarters will remain in Colorado or move to Alabama, the Air Force secretary says.
“I hoped to make a decision and make an announcement earlier,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said Tuesday at the Air and Space Forces Association Warfare Symposium in Aurora, Colo., according to Military.com. “We’re doing some additional analysis; we want to make very sure we got this right and have a well-defended decision.”
Colorado has been fighting since Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville came out on top in the official Pentagon review of competitors for the base. The command was started in Colorado Springs and Colorado has fought furiously to keep it. The latest attack came on Alabama’s ban on abortion.
Colorado has been on the offensive attacking the 2021 Pentagon ranking that had Huntsville ranked on top of the list of competitors. But in Military.com’s report, Kendall suggested that “one factor would be potentially putting two combatant commands in Colorado.” Colorado is already home to the U.S. Northern Command.
Kendall said his office is doing “sensitivity analysis,” calling that “a type of financial modeling that looks at what-if scenarios to measure risks.”
The fight over the Space Command headquarters started in 2019 when the Pentagon narrowed a large field of states vying for the command down to six suitable locations for the command’s permanent home. The Pentagon had asked communities to “self-nominate” to host the headquarters and 66 communities from 26 states responded.
After a lengthy and detailed review, the Air Force said in January 2021 that it had visited the six finalists to compare “factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support and costs” and “Huntsville compared favorably across more of these factors than any other community.” The finalist bases were in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New Mexico and Texas.
A General Accounting Office (GAO) review of the decision said the Air Force selection process “identified Redstone Arsenal as the highest scoring location in the Evaluation Phase, the highest ranked location in the Selection Phase and the location with the most advantages in the decision matrix.”
In August 2021, however, former President Trump claimed during a radio interview on Alabama’s “Rick & Bubba” show that he “single-handedly” made the decision to favor Alabama. Colorado has pointed to that interview since as evidence of presidential interference.
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