The Department of Defense inspector general said on Friday he was reviewing the Donald Trump administration’s last-minute decision to transfer US Space Command from Colorado to Alabama.
The Jan. 13 decision, a week before Trump left, blinded Colorado officials and raised questions of political retaliation. Trump hinted at a rally in Colorado Springs in 2020 that command would remain at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.
But the man Trump held the rally with, Republican Senator Cory Gardner, lost his reelection bid in November, and Colorado, unlike Alabama, voted decisively against Trump. The last-minute move of the Air Force command headquarters to Huntsville, Ala., Home of the US Army Redstone Arsenal blinded Colorado officials on both sides, who urged the Biden administration to reconsider his decision.
On Friday, the Inspector General’s office said it was investigating whether the relocation was in line with Air Force and Pentagon policy and was based on appropriate assessments of competing sites.
Colorado officials on both sides were elated. It is imperative that we take a deep look at what I believe will turn out to be a fundamentally flawed process that focuses on bean counting rather than US space dominance, said Republican Doug Lamborn, a Republican whose district includes Space Command.
The two United States Democratic Senators, Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, have also welcomed the investigation. The Moving Space Command will disrupt the mission while jeopardizing our national security and economic vitality, the senators said in a joint statement. Politics have no role to play in our national security. We fully support the investigation.
Among other functions, Space Command enables satellite navigation and troop communication and provides warnings in the event of missile launches. The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, and the North American Command are also based in Peterson.
Space Command differs from the US Space Force, launched in December 2019 as the first new military service since the creation of the Air Force in 1947. Space Command is not an individual military service but a central command for operations. space on a military scale. It worked at Peterson from 1985 until its disbandment in 2002, and it was relaunched in 2019.
The Air Force accepted offers of the locations for the command when it was revived and was considering six finalists, including Huntsville, when Trump hinted that she would stay in Colorado Springs. The six finalist bids also included a proposal from afar from Florida, to locate the command near the Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County.
Republished with permission from The Associated Press.
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