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GAO report: No issues in Air Force’s decision to move Space Command HQ to Huntsville

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Thursday released its report examining the Air Force’s decision to relocate U.S. Space Command headquarters from Colorado Springs, Colorado, to Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal.

On Thursday, the GAO released its report examining the decision to relocate the headquarters from Colorado Springs to Redstone Arsenal.

In the agency’s report, the GAO noted that the “January 2021 selection of Redstone Arsenal as the preferred location for U.S. Space Command headquarters was consistent with the Air Force’s analysis” but took issue with the branch not adhering to the Analysis of Alternatives process for best practices.

According to the GAO, the Air Force maintained that the AOA best practices “were not required or relevant to basing decisions.”

U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, provided a preview last month of the GAO’s report after his office was briefed on its findings.

Alabama’s junior senator advised that the GAO report confirmed that Redstone Arsenal emerged as the highest-scoring location during the agency’s evaluation phase and was also the highest-ranked location in the selection phase. Additionally, Redstone Arsenal had the most advantages in the final decision matrix.

Members of Colorado’s congressional delegation continue to protest the move even as multiple reports now confirm no wrongdoings in the Air Force’s decision-making process.

RELATED: ‘Space Command belongs in the Rocket City:’ Alabama elected officials champion Huntsville as home of U.S. Space Command

The Department of Defense Inspector General’s Office last month released its report on the Air Force’s review process to relocate the combatant command’s headquarters to Redstone Arsenal and found that the process “was reasonable in identifying Huntsville as the preferred permanent location.”

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa), vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, took to social media to proclaim that the GAO report supported the Inspector General’s Office report.

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, hailed the Rocket City as being the prime location to support U.S. Space Command operations.

“The GAO‘s report backs up what has already been said many times: that Huntsville ranked #1 across the board in the legal and merit-based competition for SPACECOM HQ,” stated Brooks. “The Tennessee Valley community compared favorably to the other 5 potential locations, providing a large, qualified workforce, superior infrastructure capacity, and low initial and recurring costs. Ultimately, Huntsville is not only the best option to support the Command and our national security priorities in the near term but far into the future as well.”

The North Alabama congressman called for the assessment of the Air Force’s relocation decision to become apolitical.

“I look forward to politics being pushed aside and upon the conclusion of the Environmental Impact Study in 2023, beginning construction on SPACECOM HQ,” concluded Brooks.

According to State Sen. Tom Butler (R-Madison), whose district encompasses Redstone Arsenal, the greater Huntsville area is poised for future growth as the U.S. Space Command’s relocation to the region inches closer to becoming a reality.

“The newly released GAO report supporting the decision that Huntsville ranked #1 in the decision for Space Command Headquarters is once again validation that the process has been fair,” declared Butler. “Our area was compared favorably to the other 5 potential locations, providing a large, qualified workforce, superior infrastructure capacity, and low initial and recurring costs.”

“Ultimately, Huntsville is not only the best option to support the Command and our national security but an area for more growth for the future,” he added. “It is an honor to represent this area and I will work to support Space Command and the support companies that will follow.”

(Courtesy of Yellowhammer News)

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