51.9 F
Mobile
37.8 F
Huntsville
40.6 F
Birmingham
32 F
Montgomery

Huntsville still in contention for U.S. Space Command headquarters

Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal has once again been named as a finalist to be the permanent headquarters of United States Space Command, Governor Kay Ivey announced on Thursday.

The Rocket City was previously named as one of six finalists for the HQ, however the formulation of a new list was ordered earlier this year.

Thursday’s announcement saw this new list released; there were also six finalists named this time around, including Colorado’s Peterson Air Force Base, which is Space Command’s current temporary headquarters.

The four other finalists are New Mexico’s Kirtland Air Force Base, Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base, Florida’s Patrick Air Force Base and Texas’ Port San Antonio.

Peterson and Redstone are the only locations to be named to both the new list and the previous one.

Space Command was approved by Congress in 2018, and President Donald Trump subsequently directed its elevation as the 11th functional Unified Combatant Command.

A release from Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle’s office on Thursday advised that the U.S. Air Force expects to publicly announce in early 2021 which finalist location will permanently host Space Command HQ.

“The Redstone region provides an unparalleled workforce for the U.S. Space Command with capabilities that include missile defense, aerospace, and intelligence,” stated Battle. “We have the infrastructure capacity, community support, low cost of doing business and high-quality expertise to serve as the headquarters for USSPACECOM. When you analyze all the variables, Huntsville is the clear choice for this vitally important unified combatant command.”

An Air Force release said that the department “will now conduct both virtual and on-site visits at each candidate location to assess which location is best suited to host the U.S. Space Command Headquarters. This assessment will be based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, and costs to the Department of Defense.”

You can read a previous piece published by the Alabama Department of Commerce on why Huntsville is the best possible pick for Space Command’s headquarters here.

Similarly, the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday outlined in a lengthy release why the Rocket City is the ideal home for Space Command’s headquarters.

“The Redstone Region is honored and excited by the latest news that we were chosen by the U.S. Air Force as a finalist for hosting the headquarters of U.S. Space Command,” the chamber’s release said. “Huntsville and the surrounding area has the space legacy, business/government/community ecosystem and unmatched civic support to enable Space Command to forge the Nation’s domination of space. We are grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate why Redstone should be selected first among all others.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn