HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The U.S. Air Force is relaunching and changing their approach to finding a home for Space Command. For the time being, Colorado Springs will remain the home of Space Force/Command.
The Air Force expects to name a permanent home by early 2021. That doesn’t necessarily mean the move will be immediate. It could take several years to move Command if they leave Colorado Springs.
Senator Doug Jones recently claimed during an Armed Services Intelligence Committee meeting that, in his option, the selection processed appeared to be becoming overly political especially with the election later this year.
“All of a sudden the Department of Defense decided they are going to reopen the bids so to speak. The Secretary of Defense acknowledged that there was political pressure from various members of Congress to open it (the Space Command selection process) back up,” said Jones
Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardner and Alabama Democratic Senator Doug Jones are both up for re-election. Jones thinks Alabama has been overlooked more than once recently, citing political motives.
“The Navy awarded a contract for the new frigate to a company in Wisconsin. Austal down in Mobile clearly should have won that,” said Jones, who also voiced concerns about the reliability of the winner of the frigate contract.
Still, Senator Jones and local leaders are standing firm in their belief that Huntsville is a perfect fit for Space Command.
“I ask the Air Force about this every time I get a chance,” said Senator Jones.
“This is something we are already doing in our community. We are already doing space and missile defense. We are doing a lot of things with NASA, a lot of things that impact Space Force already,” said Mayor Tommy Battle.
The previous Space Command search and information about the potential destination was close to the vest. This new search has public criteria and applicants expect to be updated.
- The first criteria: the host community must be located within the top 150 metro areas in the U.S.
- The second: The community is located within 25 miles of a military base.
- The third: The host community must have a minimum AARP Livability Score of 50. (100 point scale)
Huntsville meets all the criteria. Huntsville has an AARP Livability Score of 55. Colorado Springs has a score of 53.
WHNT NEWS 19 will continue to follow this story and bring you and developments.