Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth told Congress on Wednesday there was no political influence behind the decision to move Space Command headquarters to Alabama from Colorado that he knew of, despite repeated accusations from Colorado leadership.
Our news partner at AL.com first reported on the hearing where Roth answered questions from U.S. Rep. James Lamborn (R-Colo) saying “I have personally no evidence that the decision was politically motivated.”
“It was the result of our strategic basing process,” Roth said, “and we have worked with all the stakeholders to try to do the analysis and we’re now in the process of doing the environmental analysis.”
Lamborn, the leading congressional critic of the move, said Colorado’s “understanding is that this was a political decision by the last administration and that the Air Force, while initially selecting Colorado Springs, had to go back and scramble to justify a different citing decision.”
The Air Force announced that the command’s headquarters should move from Colorado Springs to Huntsville in January.
The Pentagon conducted side-by-side comparisons on a variety of issues to minimize politics from the decision process and Alabama won the comparison.
“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 Department of Defense Inspector General said in February.