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Reaction to Space Command decision: Disappointed, unfortunate, shameful

HUNTSVILLE — The local and congressional reaction to the White House overturning the decision to move Space Command to Redstone Arsenal from Colorado has been bitter and angry.

“We are deeply disappointed in the reversal of a meticulous decision-making process that selected Huntsville, Alabama for the permanent home of USSPACECOM.” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “This community went through a lengthy selection process – twice. To have that process invalidated, and to have our selection taken away is demoralizing. It is even more disturbing that the selection is going to the community that ranked fifth in the selection process.

“Our systems should be better than that. The Department of Defense deserves better than that.”

U.S. Rep. Dale Strong, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, blasted the decision, saying the questions will not go away.

“It is clear to anyone who has looked at the facts: Huntsville, Alabama is the best place for U.S. Space Command Headquarters. Repeated investigations and objective reviews have proven that to be the case,” said Strong (R-Huntsville). “It is shameful that the Biden Administration is ignoring what is best for our nation’s security and is instead using their woke agenda to make this decision.  

“To this point, the administration has refused to answer questions brought forth by the House Armed Services Committee’s investigation of their actions in this process. If they think this will go away … they are wrong. I will ensure they have to explain their actions and answer our questions on the record.”

U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville said Biden’s decision amounts to “blatant patronage politics.”

“The top three choices for Space Command headquarters were all in red states—Alabama, Nebraska, and Texas. Colorado didn’t even come close,” Tuberville (R-Auburn) said. “This decision to bypass the three most qualified sites looks like blatant patronage politics, and it sets a dangerous precedent that military bases are now to be used as rewards for political supporters rather than for our security. There remain serious questions as to whether the Air Force illegally used taxpayer dollars to upgrade facilities in Colorado Springs. I hope that House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers will continue his investigation into that matter.

“This is absolutely not over. I will continue to fight this as long as it takes to bring Space Command where it would be best served — Huntsville, Alabama.”

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt called the decision “outrageous” and “unfortunate.”

“Not only is it outrageous, but also unfortunate for the American people to hear that the Secretary of the Air Force allowed politics to circumvent his, and the Department of Defense’s, own basing selection process that determined Huntsville, Alabama as the preferred location of SPACECOM,” said Aderholt, (R-Haleyville). “Over and over again, the legitimate process proved that Alabama was the right choice for SPACECOM HQ. Unfortunately for this nation this decision is the latest chapter in the long saga of the Biden Administration’s failing national security record, and I know the majority of the American people feel the same way. As a nation, we must do better.

“The precedent that has been set today should sound the alarm for the future of strategic, national security decision-making processes, and lands a direct hit to the future of state’s rights.”

U.S. Sen. Katie Britt likened the decision to awarding the gold medal “to a fifth-place finisher.”

“Huntsville finished first in both the Air Force’s Evaluation Phase and Selection Phase, leaving no doubt that the Air Force’s decision to choose Redstone as the preferred basing location was correct purely on the merits,” said Britt (R-Montgomery). “That decision should have remained in the Air Force’s purview. Instead, President Biden is now trying to hand the Gold Medal to the fifth-place finisher.

“The President’s blatant prioritization of partisan political considerations at the expense of our national security, military modernization, and force readiness is a disservice and a dishonor to his oath of office as our nation’s Commander-in-Chief.”

However, Battle put the disappointment aside and said the city will be supportive and a “good neighbor.”

“No matter where USSPACECOM resides, Huntsville will move forward and continue to be a good neighbor with our national military partners,” he said. “We fully support our military and aerospace sectors and will work to ensure Huntsville remains a key component in furthering USSPACECOM’s mission on the national and global stage.”

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