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Aderholt freezes Colorado SPACECOM construction funds

WASHINGTON — Rep. Robert Aderholt announced a major development for the future of the Space Command headquarters while a long-overdue decision from Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall hangs in the balance.

As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Aderholt introduced bipartisan language in FY2024 military construction appropriations that would effectively freeze funding for further SPACECOM facility development in Colorado until “the preferred location for permanent headquarters of the United States Space Command is selected or until the required report is submitted.”

RELATED: Britt, Sewell hammer administration over Space Command

The move is a response to reports last month where Kendall “uncovered ‘fundamental changes’ being made to SPACECOM’s mission requirements, headquarters requirements, and related expenditures at temporary SPACECOM facilities which are apparently divorced from DOD’s stated policy.”

Kendall said he was unaware who at the Department of Defense approved spending taxpayer funds to unilaterally change the mission or headquarters requirements of the command.

“Now more than ever, the establishment of a permanent Space Command Headquarters remains vital to our national security,” Aderholt (R-Haleyville) said. “The language incentivizes the Secretary of the Air Force to determine the permanent headquarters location as quickly as possible.

“In this matter, timeliness remains of the utmost importance. I urge the Department to move the headquarters to its preferred permanent location as quickly as possible; however, if the Administration continues to delay, I am relieved that General (James) Dickinson, the SPACECOM Commander, assured the Alabama Delegation that he had no national security concerns about moving the headquarters.”

WATCH:

A May 2022 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that Redstone Arsenal was ranked first in the Air Force’s Evaluation and Selection phases.

RELATED: GAO: Alabama 1st, Colorado 5th for Space Command HQ

The GAO report stated, “Air Force analysis 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.”

The SPACECOM basing decision remains a responsibility of the Secretary of the Air Force, a decision delegated by the president and the secretary of Defense.

“As we take this step, I would like to thank the Alabama delegation for their commitment to this fight,” Aderholt said. “We all know that Space Command belongs in the Rocket City.”

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