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Dickinson: Space Command HQ ‘belongs in Huntsville’

WASHINGTON — The commanding general of the U.S. Space Command was to the point in a meeting Alabama congressional delegation.

““General Dickinson just confirmed to us that the headquarters of U.S. Space Command belongs on Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama,” U.S. Sen. Katie Britt said. “This is no surprise, because it’s what the facts clearly support.”

Britt, Sen. Tommy Tuberville and Rep. Dale Strong all relayed similar messages following their meeting with Gen. James H. Dickinson.

The meeting was called due to continuing delays in the basing decision and conflicting reports coming out of Washington and Colorado in recent days.

Today, the Alabama delegation met with Space Command Commander Gen Dickinson,” Tuberville (R-Auburn) tweeted. “Just like the GAO and DoD IG report Gen Dickinson confirmed Huntsville is the preferred location of Space Command headquarters.”

Strong (R-Monrovia) said Dickinson “had no concerns with the initial decision” to locate the command on Redstone Arsenal.

” … I was assured by him that he couldn’t envision any circumstance where he wouldn’t recommend Huntsville as the permanent SPACECOM HQ,” Strong tweeted. “He had no concerns with the initial decision.”

A U.S. Government Accountability Report in May 2022 said, “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.

“Air Force officials, including the then Secretary of the Air Force, stated that the decision to identify Redstone Arsenal as the preferred location stemmed from Air Force analysis showing it was the strongest candidate location.”

The same report said Air Force documentation from January 2021 affirmed that “Redstone Arsenal rated the best of the six candidate locations based on the criteria and noted that selecting Peterson Air Force Base as the preferred location would not align with the results of Air Force Selection Phase analysis.”

“[T]he January 2021 selection of Redstone Arsenal as the preferred location for U.S. Space Command headquarters was consistent with the Air Force’s analysis,” the GAO said. “Multiple senior officials we interviewed stated that they felt the process was unbiased, including the former Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy; the former Secretary of the Air Force; the former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the U.S. Space Command Combatant Commander; and the U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations.”

The GAO report also said, the Air Force is basing its decision for Redstone Arsenal on military judgement.

“The Air Force considered dispersing combatant commands in different geographic areas as a strategic advantage, and a way to avoid placing two combatant commands at risk from the same threat,” the GAO said.

“The White House must keep politics out of this,” Britt said. “It’s past time for them to do what’s best for our national security.”

In addition to the GAO report, the Air Force’s decision to locate the permanent Space Command HQ on Redstone Arsenal has been cleared by a Department of Defense Inspector General evaluation and has completed an environmental review.

“Enough is enough, it’s time to bring (SPACECOM) home to Huntsville,” Tuberville said.

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