HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Air Force announced last month that the permanent location of U.S. Space Command headquarters would be in Colorado Springs, not Redstone Arsenal.
That decision was at odds with the Air Force’s previous statements and left members of Alabama’s congressional delegation furious.
Huntsville area Congressman Dale Strong has pushed for an investigation into the decision-making process and during his remarks Wednesday at the Von Braun Center, he made it clear he is not backing down.
“Our country can’t afford for me to play nice,” Strong said. “We’re in a position where we’ve got to fight for national security for our country. And the only thing Colorado offers when it comes to Space Command is that they vote Democrat.”
Strong stood before dozens of elected officials and business people from across North Alabama during the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber’s Washington Update address and described his first year in Congress. He talked about his involvement on three committees: Armed Services, Homeland Security and Science, Space and Technology.
That latter role was the major focus of his remarks.
Strong says he and others in Congress feel lied to regarding who was involved with making the decision on where U.S. Space Command would be headquartered, and what place was best fit.
“General Dickinson told us that he would not be making the decision. He met with all seven members of Congress, both senators and also said that he could recommend nothing less than Redstone Arsenal based on the facts and national security,” Strong said. “All of a sudden, they started pointing at each other, handed the situation and based on what we’ve been told General Dickinson made the call.”
Strong also mentioned that the general recently purchased property in Colorado, which he says adds to his distrust of the process.
“He bought a 1.2, 1.3 million dollar farm there in Colorado at the same time he was telling the Alabama delegation that it was going to be going to Redstone Arsenal.”
Strong says until this is made right, he’ll be voting not to fund space command.
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“What we ought to be concentrating on is doing what is best to defend our country. The next fight will not be storming the beaches of Normandy,” he said. “It’s going to start in space and we’re not prepared and we need to get that level up. We should be going vertical at Redstone Arsenal right now. We’ve wasted two years watching Colorado try to figure out how they’re going to carry out the mission. Right now they’re not ready, Huntsville is.”
Strong says he thinks we will see action on the matter in September.