HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Alabama officials are speaking out after an editorial in the Washington Post claimed President Joe Biden would be moving to undo a Trump administration plan to move Space Command to Huntsville.

Senator Katie Britt, Congressman Dale Strong and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle have all made public statements following the publication of an editorial titled ‘Biden moves to undo Trump’s political play on the Space Command’ written by David Ignatius in the Washington Post.

Space Command’s temporary headquarters are in Colorado Springs, although Redstone Arsenal is in the running for the permanent headquarters.

The fight for Space Command to come to Huntsville has been ongoing for several years. The city was named a finalist in early 2021. Then, in 2022, the Department of Defense named Huntsville as the “preferred permanent location for U.S. Space Command headquarters.”

While Huntsville was named the preference, many in Colorado are fighting to turn the temporary headquarters into the permanent headquarters.

The opinion piece says that the White House “appears ready to reverse a Trump administration plan to relocate the U.S. Space Command from Colorado Springs to Huntsville, Ala. because it fears the transfer would disrupt operations at a time when space is increasingly important to the military.”

Ignatius goes on to claim that senior military officials argued from the start to keep the headquarters in Colorado Springs and that Biden’s administration is “nearing the same conclusion.”

The article cites an email from Air Force General John Hyten, who reportedly said “When asked, I provided my best military advice[,] which was counter to the [Air Force] recommendation of Huntsville. I recommended Colorado Springs. My rationale was that the threat, primarily China, demanded that we move as fast as possible to reach full operational capability and that we could do that in Colorado much quicker than in Alabama.”

Huntsville finished first in both the Air Force’s evaluation phase and the selection phase, while Colorado Springs finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Sen. Britt released the following statement Friday in an attempt to reiterate her stance that the Redstone Arsenal would be the best permanent location for U.S. Space Command:

“Locating the permanent Space Command Headquarters on Redstone Arsenal undoubtedly remains in the best national security interest of the United States,” said Senator Katie Britt. “Huntsville finished first in both the Air Force’s Evaluation Phase and Selection Phase, leaving no doubt that the Air Force’s decision to choose Redstone as the preferred basing location was correct purely on the merits. That decision should remain in the Air Force’s hands and should not be politicized. Selecting a fifth-place finisher would obviously prioritize partisan political considerations at the expense of our national security, military modernization, and force readiness. Alabama’s world-class aerospace and defense workforce, capabilities, and synergies stand ready to fulfill the mission and strengthen our national security long into the future.”

Rep. Strong also spoke out, stating that he believes the decision should remain in the hands of the Air Force and not become politicized. He added that he is hopeful a decision will be made soon.

“Redstone Arsenal has consistently ranked as the #1 location to host the headquarters of U.S. Space Command. The indisputable facts of this situation are: The Air Force led a robust basing process which complied with federal law, and the DoD IG and GAO confirmed the original decision. Redstone Arsenal was consistently the top choice to host Space Command headquarters and Colorado wasn’t in the top three.   The decision of where Space Command is located should remain in the hands of the Air Force and should not be politicized. The decision should be what is in the best for national security of the United State of America.  I am hopeful that the Secretary of the Air Force will announce a final basing decision soon.” 

Congressman Dale Strong

Mayor Battle, similarly to Britt and Strong, took time to point out the data, reports, and evaluations which led officials to recommend Huntsville as the location for U.S. Space Command Headquarters in his statement.

The results of an exhaustive, objective, data-driven study, twice performed, show that Huntsville, Alabama, is the best location for Space Command headquarters. That recommendation was examined in two thorough reports – from the Government Accountability Office and Department of Defense Inspector General – finding the DoD’s study was conducted properly, each time resulting in Huntsville being named as the best spot for USSPACECOM. We look forward to Space Command being headquartered where it belongs, the Rocket City.”

Mayor Tommy Battle

An official decision on where the permanent headquarters will be located has still not been made, and for the time being U.S. Space Command remains in Colorado Springs.