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Sen. Bennet seeks to keep Space Command in Colorado

Colorado Senator Michael Bennet
Joe Mueller

(The Center Square) – U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, pleaded with President Joe Biden’s administration not to move U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama due to national security concerns.

President Donald Trump, whose administration created Space Command in 2018, decided in 2021 to move it from Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs to the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. Bennet said Trump overruled the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force’s recommendation to keep the base in Colorado. Bennet also said Trump did a radio interview with an Alabama station and “bragged that he had single-handedly overruled everybody else … to put it in Alabama instead.”

“But instead of removing the state of politics, I’m sad to say that the Biden Administration may be close to ratifying a decision that can’t be ratified – a decision that was made in the face of the recommendations of the generals, a decision that was belied by all of the relevant facts, and a decision that the Government Accounting Office, the Department of Defense’s Inspector General, and Donald Trump on a radio program all confirmed: which is that politics made the decision about moving Space Command to Alabama, not the national security interests of the United States,” Bennet said during a speech on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday.

Last June, the U.S. Government Accounting Office recommended the Air Force “develop guidance for future strategic basing decisions” consistent with the GAO’s Analysis of Alternatives best practices. The Air Force neither agreed nor disagreed with the recommendation. The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General last May found the Air Force complied with law and policy in selecting Huntsville. However, it did make several recommendations for future site selection processes.

Bennet said keeping the base in Colorado would allow the organization to reach full operational capacity four to six years faster than moving it. He said it would save money to repurpose assets in Colorado and would lessen attrition as 60 percent of its personnel are civilians living in the state.

Bennet also countered arguments the Colorado delegation is only protecting jobs and economic interests surrounding the base.

“… decisions of this importance shouldn’t be made this way,” Bennet said. “They should be made in the interest of our national security, and the Biden Administration has the opportunity to restore the integrity of this process, and I think if they do restore the integrity of this process, they will find that Space Command belongs in Colorado and shouldn’t be moved anywhere else.”