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Strong: Space Command decision ‘undeniably malicious’

HUNTSVILLE — Rep. Dale Strong is using his role on the House Armed Services Committee to get documents, interviews and answers from Space Command decision-makers.

This comes the same week as President Biden’s announcement he had selected Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs over Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. 

Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers has issued a warning of “compelled appearance” and subpoena power to get answers.

As Congress returned home for a month-long August recess, Rogers (R-Saks) and Strong (R-Monrovia) wrote letters, beginning to build an official record and investigation through the committee’s oversight authority over the Department of Defense.

“I believe that President Biden’s decision is undeniably malicious, partly driven political factors and by a sense of retribution against the State of Alabama in response to disagreements over its democratically enacted state laws,” Strong wrote.

“This decision allows national security to succumb to political preferences, undermines the trust placed within the Department of Defense to uphold the highest standards of integrity, and sets dangerous precedents for future basing decisions.”

Strong asked Rogers to compel the appearance of Gen. James Dickinson, commander of Space Command, and Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall before the committee.

“Considering these negligent actions, I strongly urge the Committee to use its authority to compel the Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall, and Commander of USSPACECOM, General James Dickinson, to appear before us at the earliest opportunity,” said Strong. 

Rogers did just that in a formal request to Dickinson and Kendall. 

“Your refusal to abide by the Committee’s repeated requests for responsive documents and transcribed interviews can only be considered obfuscation and purposeful delay, highlighted by the fact that the basing decision was decided while the Committee’s requests are outstanding,” Rogers wrote. “It now appears you have something to hide, otherwise a forthright response to the Committee’s patient and numerous requests would have already come. 

“If you fail to adequately respond, I will be forced to seek a subpoena for the relevant documents we have requested on multiple occasions, and to seek your compelled appearance.”

In June, Dickinson told Strong and Sens. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) that Space Command headquarters “belong in Huntsville.”

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