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Defense bill delays Space Command decision another six months

WASHINGTON — Apparently, after 2 1/2 years of delay it will be another six months before a decision is made for a permanent headquarters for the U.S. Space Command.

The Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision championed by U.S. Rep. Dale Strong which prohibits funding from being used to expand the interim command headquarters in Colorado Springs. 

Specifically, Sec. 2889 in the NDAA will stop the command from renting, planning, designing, or constructing new facilities. 

“I promised to fight for Space Command from day one as your congressman, and refused to sit idly by as political influence was used to reverse a merit-based decision,” said Strong (R-Monrovia). a member of the Armed Services Committee. 

The funding freeze will remain until at least June 30, 2024, and is contingent on completed investigations by the Department of Defense Inspector General and the Comptroller General of the United States. 

“I am confident that these new investigations will uncover executive interference from the Biden administration in the basing process,” said Strong.  

This will be the second DoD Inspector General investigation looking into the SPACECOM basing decision. The first, completed in May 2022, found the Air Force’s original decision for SPACECOM headquarters “was reasonable in identifying Huntsville as the preferred permanent location.”  

“Doing what’s right for our armed forces and nation’s security is my driving force,” Strong said. “I’m proud to be able to call attention to this bogus Biden decision and ensure that our taxpayer dollars are used in the best interest of national defense.”

The FY24 NDAA is expected to pass the House of Representatives and the Senate this week.   

The provision was added after staff members of Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers discovered Space Command-related construction going on at Colorado Springs.

Rogers’ staff on the committee said the Space Command and Air Force over the last two years were “signing leases and building out infrastructure in Colorado” during the review of the decision to place the headquarters on Redstone Arsenal.

“I intend to work to make sure that no funds are authorized or expended to be spent in Colorado Springs for the building of the permanent headquarters,” Rogers (R-Saks) said at the time.

If adopted, the provision and the associated delay would continue what has been a four-year effort to identify a home for Space Command.

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