HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Following complaints from Colorado elected officials about the Air Force’s decision to select Huntsville as the future headquarters of Space Command, the Department of Defense Inspector General announced today it is reviewing that decision.
The IG’s office sent a memo to the Secretary of the Air Force, spelling out the plan.
“We plan to begin the subject evaluation in February 2021. The objective of this evaluation is to review the basis for selecting Huntsville, Alabama, as the preferred permanent location of the U.S. Space Command headquarters.
“Specifically, we will evaluate the extent to which the Department of the Air Force:
- complied with DoD and Air Force policies during the location selection process;
- used objective and relevant scoring factors to rank the six candidate locations; and
- calculated the cost and other scoring factors accurately and consistently among the six candidate locations.
The mid-January announcement that the Secretary of the Air Force had selected Redstone Arsenal as the future headquarters over five other candidates, including the Space Command’s current home, Colorado Springs, was greeted with cheers locally and complaints from members of Colorado’s congressional delegation.
The command is currently set up and running out of Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, which was also a finalist. The other finalists were Joint Base San Antonio in Texas, Offut Air Force Base in Nebraska, Patrick Air Force Base in Florida and Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.
Colorado officials asked the incoming Biden Administration to review the decision.
In its announcement decision the Air Force said Redstone was the best choice, though a final decision wouldn’t be made until 2023.
The Air Force said:
“The Secretary of the Air Force, on behalf of the Office of Secretary of Defense, selected Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama, as the preferred location for the U.S. Space Command Headquarters.
“The Department of the Air Force conducted both virtual and on-site visits to assess which of six candidate locations would be best suited to host the U.S. Space Command Headquarters based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support and costs to the Department of Defense.
“Huntsville compared favorably across more of these factors than any other community, providing a large, qualified workforce, quality schools, superior infrastructure capacity, and low initial and recurring costs. Additionally, Redstone Arsenal offered a facility to support the headquarters, at no cost, while the permanent facility is being constructed.”
The full statement from the Inspector General is below: