REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (WHNT) – The headquarters for U.S. Space Command is one step closer to moving to a 60-acre section of Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville after the release of an environmental assessment.
In 2021 the decision was made to move the 1,800 headquarters staff and their families to North Alabama.
The environmental review done by the U.S. Air Force found there were no issues with the proposed site for the new headquarters. A variety of potential impacts were studied including noise levels, transportation and natural resources.
U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville provided the following statement on the release of the study.
“This is a welcomed result, but it’s not surprising. Redstone Arsenal’s existing federal footprint and Huntsville’s robust defense industry make this area the ideal home for Space Command. I look forward to the conclusion of the comment period and doing what I can to support Space Command as it makes Huntsville its new home.”Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)
The next step in the process will be a 30-day public comment period required by the National Environmental Policy Act. After the comment period, the Air Force will take those comments into consideration, as well as review the criteria for childcare, housing affordability, and access to military/veteran support at Redstone Arsenal and the other alternatives.
Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall will then make the final base decision.
The full draft of the assessment can be read here.
Colorado officials have protested the decision to move Space Command Headquarters from its current location Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs. Some claimed the decision was politically motivated by former President Donald Trump but several reports have shown that was false.
In May 2022 the Department of Defense evaluated the decision to move Space Command Headquarters from Peterson to the Arsenal. That evaluation found 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.
While in June the Government Accountability Office released its own report that supported the U.S Air Force’s initial decision to permanently locate the headquarters in Huntsville.
The full list of potential candidates includes:
- Redstone Arsenal (Huntsville, Alabama) – Preferred
- Kirtland Air Force Base (Alburquerque, New Mexico)
- Offutt Air Force Base (Bellevue, Nebraska)
- Peterson Space Force Base (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
- Port San Antonio (San Antonio, Texas)
- Space Coast Spaceport (Brevard County, Florida)
A final decision on the move has not been approved at this time. Air Force officials have previously said the final decision will be made in 2023.