Gov. Kay Ivey almost shouted from the podium “Alabama is the only choice for Space Command headquarters” at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center on May 19, 2023.

Gov. Kay Ivey almost shouted from the podium “Alabama is the only choice for Space Command headquarters” at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center on May 19, 2023. (Paul Gattis/TNS)

(Tribune News Service) — At the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville on Friday, Gov. Kay Ivey stepped to the podium and almost shouted as she began her remarks.

“Alabama is the only choice for Space Command headquarters,” the governor said.

That Ivey was speaking into a microphone did not matter, nor did the fact that she was in Huntsville to help cut the ribbon on the new $20 million Space Camp Operations center.

The audience of about 500 people immediately applauded.

“No ifs, ands or buts,” Ivey continued after the clapping subsided. “The contest was not even close. The Pentagon knows it. The White House knows it. And I’ll keep saying it and Alabama will keep proving it until the headquarters is officially in Huntsville.”

And another round of applause broke out.

Alabama officials are cranking up the rhetoric in support of Huntsville in the aftermath of an NBC News report earlier this week that the Biden administration was looking to keep Space Command in Colorado Springs, Colo., as its permanent headquarters.

The Air Force in 2021 identified Huntsville as its “preferred choice” and multiple government assessments have agreed that Redstone Arsenal in the Rocket City is the best site.

Alabama officials said they believe President Joe Biden is making a decision on Space Command based on politics – noting that Colorado supported Biden in the 2020 presidential election while Alabama supported former President Donald Trump.

Meeting with reporters following the Space Camp Operations ceremony, Ivey went further in her comments.

“Keep talking about it and not taking no for an answer,” Ivey said when asked what she could do to help secure Space Command for Huntsville.

Ivey was also asked about Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who has been criticized and lacks the support of the top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell for putting a hold on military promotions as a protest of a Pentagon policy providing travel expenses and paid leave for servicemembers to travel to states where abortion is legal.

“That’s not the issue,” Ivey said. “The issue is the evaluation was made fair and square based on the merits of where the Space (Command) headquarters should be. And Alabama was chosen hands down. There’s no question. And so we’re going to stick to that. And keep working to get the Biden administration to put national defense first instead of politics and other side issues. But this is an important mission for the Space Command to be located here in Huntsville.”

©2023 Advance Local Media LLC.


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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