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Colorado officials praise Biden for keeping Space Command headquarters in state

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Joe Mueller

(The Center Square) – Colorado's elected officials praised President Joe Biden's announcement to keep the U.S. Space Command headquarters in Colorado instead of moving to Alabama.

“This is great news for Colorado and our national security – keeping U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs is an exciting outcome for our state, military families, jobs, and businesses," Governor Jared Polis said in a statement. "This thoughtful and correct decision guarantees operational success for decades to come and improves our national defense. I personally advocated for Space Command to remain in Colorado with the former President and current administration. I am grateful to the strong, bipartisan coalition of leaders from across Colorado who never wavered in our commitment to keeping Space Command in our state and national defense."

In the final days of his presidency, President Donald Trump ordered the headquarters moved to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. Space command, created by President Trump in 2018, was temporarily located at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.

Colorado state officials, its U.S. Senators and Representatives urged President Biden to keep the command in the state, citing national security concerns, recommendations of military personnel and cost and efficiency evaluations performed by the Government Accounting Office.

“The Biden administration’s decision is in the best interest of our country and our national security, and will ensure Colorado remains home to Space Command for years to come,” Congressman Joe Neguse, D-Colo., said in a statement. “…I’m confident that Colorado has the ideal ecosystem for maintaining U.S. Space Command. Our state is home to the nation’s leading scientific laboratories and research institutions – in fact, it has the highest concentration of federal research labs outside of the Washington D.C. area.”

Last month, business groups in Ohio were rallying Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine to convince Biden to move the headquarters to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton. Also in June, President Biden announced a new Space Force mission – Space Delta 12 – would be located at Schriever Space Force Base, approximately 10 miles from Colorado Springs.

“Colorado also has the second-largest aerospace economy and an aerospace workforce that has grown by 30 percent over the last five years,” Neguse said. “Put simply, this decision puts our national security, innovation, and the service members and civilians who serve at Space Command, first.”

Last week during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama, questioned Lt. General Stephen Whiting, the nominee to be general and Commander of Space Command, and stated politics and delays about locating the headquarters in Alabama were problematic.

“It’s been three years and we do not have a permanent home yet for Space Command,” Tuberville said. “And it’s a shame that we’ve gotten into politics. Of course, it’s moved slower up here. But even for Washington, it’s very slow for this to have happened to us, have a permanent home for Space Command.”