Alabama’s federal delegation confident Space Command HQ belongs in Huntsville
Members of Alabama’s congressional delegation are confident that a review will find that the Air Force’s decision to name Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal as the permanent headquarters of U.S. Space Command was the correct one based on merit.
The Department of Defense’s inspector general is investigating the decision, which Governor Kay Ivey welcomed in a statement released Monday morning.
Buoyed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin the same day defending the Air Force in the matter, the Yellowhammer State’s U.S. Senators and Representatives echoed Ivey in statements and social media posts of their own.
It should be noted that these federal officials all hold respective positions of influence related to either defense policy or spending in Congress.
A spokesperson for Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) — the vice chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and its Subcommittee on Defense — told Yellowhammer News, “The Senator welcomes an evaluation by the Pentagon’s Inspector General to ensure that Huntsville was selected for the right reasons and in the interest of national security, as he would any other decision by the Department.”
Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, tweeted, “What Alabamians already know: Huntsville is the best location for Space Command. Our state is home to some of the top military sites in the country, and Space Command will fit right in.”
Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement to Yellowhammer News, “I believe the Air Force chose Huntsville completely on the merits. It’s my understanding Huntsville and North Alabama perfectly met all of the criteria the Air Force was looking for. What some folks outside of Alabama don’t understand is how many space experts we have here. When you add that to the other factors, the Air Force has good reason to prefer Redstone. I welcome this investigation from the DOD because I believe it will confirm this choice and confirm what all of us who live here already know about this area.”
Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05), a member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), commented in a statement, “Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett advised me on January 13 that she decided to locate Space Command H.Q. at Redstone Arsenal based solely on qualitative (Redstone Arsenal ranked “high”) and quantitative (Redstone Arsenal ranked #1) factors. Secretary Barrett emphasized her decision was clearly in the long-term best interest of national security.”
“As I stated during a House Armed Services Committee, Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing last week, I welcome an investigation concerning the location of Space Command H.Q,” Brooks continued. “If the investigation honestly portrays the Tennessee Valley’s strengths, Redstone Arsenal will do just fine. My only reservation is whether hyper-partisanship will blind the investigation to the merits of the Air Force’s decision. If hyper-partisanship rules as it did under the Obama-Biden Administration, Alabama and other red states will not fare well on Space Command H.Q. or any other major federal issue.”
Congressman Jerry Carl (AL-01), another HASC member, remarked on social media, “Alabama’s contribution to our nation’s military strength and defense programs is critical to national security. It is undeniable that Huntsville would be the perfect location for Space Command.”
Congressman Mike Rogers (AL-03), the ranking member of HASC, also threw his support behind the decision when it was announced last month.
“I applaud the decision by the Air Force to select Redstone Arsenal as the new home of the U.S. Space Command,” he stated at the time. “Alabama has long been home to our nation’s premiere defense and civilian space assets. This decision by the Air Force makes sense given all the equities in Alabama. Defending our country against threats from our enemies takes a national effort. I am proud of the role Alabama plays in this overall effort.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn